Axios has obtained a leaked draft of a Trump administration bill — ordered by the president himself — that would declare America’s abandonment of fundamental World Trade Organization rules.
Why it matters: The draft legislation is stunning. The bill essentially provides Trump a license to raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent and international rules be damned.
It’s no secret that Putin would like nothing more than for all the alliances of the West to be torn-up, and in that effort so far Comrade Trump is performing Vlad’s agenda admirably.
The “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) principle that countries can’t set different tariff rates for different countries outside of free trade agreements;
“Bound tariff rates” — the tariff ceilings that each WTO country has already agreed to in previous negotiations.
Not being versed in trade (a-hem), Axios explains what this means in real-world terms:
“It would be the equivalent of walking away from the WTO and our commitments there without us actually notifying our withdrawal,” said a source familiar with the bill.
…which sounds like an instruction manual for how to schtupp a rat, to coin a phrase.
Axios also has learned from the failings of the Intercept and will not accidentally burn their sources: they re-typed the memo!
Now, of course, this is a Bill, proposed legislation, so we can take cold comfort that means it would have to be approved by the House and Senate, so what are the chances… Ugh.
We’re eff’ed in the dark as usual.