Because we live in the dumbest time in human history, it has become impossible to separate satire from reality, and so I reject it. This cannot be real. But it absolutely could, because Trump. Despite my exasperation, this is an important news story—albeit with a farcical and unknown outcome. It also comes courtesy of one of the most plugged-in reporters in our nation’s capital. Something’s up. Per Jonathan Swan of Axios:
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.
The details: The bill, titled the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” would give Trump unilateral power to ignore the two most basic principles of the WTO and negotiate one-on-one with any country.
The United States
*upside down face emoji*
President Donald J. Trump is proposing to blow up one of the biggest trade deals in the world (that does have some serious warts), and replace it with the FART Act, or FARTA. Come on, man. This cannot be real. Or this cannot be reality. The future humans must be messing with our simulation to see how much we can take (oh yeah I am calling you guys out—I see you). That’s more likely than reality being real at this point.
In all seriousness, the fact that they could draft that name makes it feel like a prank, or more likely: a sabotage from someone inside the administration who does not want to blow up the WTO and give Trump unilateral control over the escalating trade war with our closest allies. In fact, the more you read this Axios report, that’s exactly what this sounds like. Someone is trying to communicate to President Drunk Uncle through the only medium that he understands what a terrible idea this is. Look at this quote:
“The good news is Congress would never give this authority to the president,” the source added, describing the bill as “insane.”
So Axios “obtained” a draft of a bill whose acronym comes out to the FART Act from a source who described it as “insane.” Swan’s source must be pretty high up if they were able to confirm that Trump ordered FARTA himself, and, well, someone would have seen that problematic acronym before coming up with a first draft. You just cannot not see that. Sabotage seems to be the best explanation for this absurd turn of events. My money’s on John Kelly as the mastermind behind the FART Act given that he reportedly couldn’t care less if Trump got impeached at this point.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.