Europe rejects alliance with China to fight Trump on trade

Leroy Wright
July 4, 2018

Axios reported that "most officials involved in the bill's drafting. think the bill is unrealistic or unworkable".

Despite the ongoing trade dispute with Trump Administration, last week European Union leaders outlined their plan to reform the WTO, in line with the US's demands. CNN confirms the existence of the leaked proposal, called the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act. Time to switch tactics, ' Scaramucci tweeted.

China is putting pressure on the EU to issue a strong joint statement against US President Donald Trump's trade policies at a summit later this month but is facing resistance, European officials said.

According to Axios, Trump was briefed on the bill in May, but it hasn't yet been reviewed by key economic advisers. "As (Treasury) Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin and the President have said, that is not accurate that the United States is leaving the WTO (sic)", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.

The website followed up on Sunday by publishing what it said was a draft bill, the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act", immediately drawing ridicule for legislation that would be known by its acronym, the FART Act. "They have been treating us very badly for many, many years and that's why we were at a big disadvantage with the WTO", he said. The bill would give Trump unilateral authority to alter tariff negotiations with other countries and abandon WTO rules. reports that it would essentially let Trump skirt congressional approval to start trade wars.

Axios quoted a source familiar with the bill as saying it was "insane" and that congress would never consent to it.

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Beijing has pledged to retaliate with equal tariffs on $34 billion in USA goods.

"The only way this would be news is if this were actual legislation that the administration was preparing to roll out, but it's not", White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told Axios.

Trump has caused a crisis in the WTO by blocking the appointment of new trade judges, threatening to destroy the system of binding dispute settlement.

They say China's decision in May to lower tariffs on imported cars will make little difference because imports make up such a small part of the market.

The China's customs agency did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

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