Winds of change or more hot air? Twitter responds to Trump's ‘FART Act’
Axios quotes an anonymous source in the White House as saying that Trump wants to withdraw the US from the WTO, an institution it helped set up over 20 years ago. “We always get f**ked by them,” Trump reportedly said to advisers, adding: “The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States.”
While walking away from the WTO is unlikely, the Trump administration has reportedly drafted a bill that would grant him the authority to raise tariffs unilaterally on foreign goods without Congressional approval, defying WTO rules.
The bill, which has not been proven to exist, is reportedly titled the ‘US Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act’, or FART Act. Once Twitter caught wind of the name, the puns began to flow:
pass the US FART Act I don’t care what you have to do— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) July 2, 2018
i’m trying to pass a fart act over here too if you know what i’m saying https://t.co/BPjtMjpvZx— LB classic [balmy]: (@LydiaBurrell) July 2, 2018
Every member of Congress should be asked whether they would openly stand behind a FART act. https://t.co/OeMcACMIBY— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) July 2, 2018
Some commenters wondered whether the Fart Act is for real, or the work of a cheeky troll within the Administration. They speculated whether the story was a leak to bait the media.
@TheDaleJackson Don’t you think this so-called ‘FART’ Act isn’t just a ginormous troll?— (((WitCoHE))) (@E__Strobel) July 2, 2018
“Betcha I can make a ton of media types say ‘fart’!” - WH leaker
“No way! I’ll take that bet!” - co-workers
It read like an elaborate troll...The USA FART Act? C’mon. https://t.co/HFgn4nuwHU— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) July 2, 2018
The naming of the FART Act has convinced me that Deep State subversion is real. And pretty awesome.— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) July 2, 2018
Did they name it the “FART Act” to troll the president? https://t.co/kqTqzlOD0X— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 2, 2018
To others, the FART Act could be the work of a president who genuinely missed the joke. One user joked that Trump plowed ahead with the name, despite advice from his family.
“And we’ll call it f.a.r.t.”— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) July 2, 2018
“What Ivanka? What?”
“Well daddy, FART doesn’t sound very...”
“Don’t be silly Ivanka, no one will call it fart.” https://t.co/QMbRNKms2x
They call it the "Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act".— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly 🌊 BWCS (@AynRandPaulRyan) July 2, 2018
Or, the "FART Act".🤣
This is a real thing that is happening.
Once you get past that, read the text of the bill. It's terrifying.
Exclusive: A leaked Trump bill to blow up the WTO#SaturdayMorninghttps://t.co/QhjDV1PB0s
Even former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci couldn’t resist a sneaky pun when he stepped in to criticize President Trump’s often-belligerent trade policies.
WTO has its flaws, but the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act," aka the U.S. FART Act, stinks. American consumers pay for tariffs. Time to switch tactics. https://t.co/OfyOFA1neU— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 2, 2018
While the FART Act has not yet been confirmed to actually exist, President Trump would have a hard time passing such a bill. Congress would be extremely reticent to pass a bill that limits its input into trade decisions, and Congressional Republicans have already warned that tariffs would harm US workers.
Just this week, the EU warned the US that it could strike back with as much as $300 billion in retaliatory tariffs if the Trump administration moves ahead with new levies on European cars.
In a written statement to the US Department of Commerce, Brussels reportedly warned that imposing tariffs on European cars “will be harmful first and foremost for the US economy.”
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