The rotational spectrum of the higher-energy trans-conformational isomer of methyl formate has been assigned for the first time using several pulsed-jet Fourier transform microwave spectrometers in the 6-60 GHz frequency range. This species has also been sought toward the Sagittarius B2(N) molecular cloud using the publicly available PRIMOS survey from the Green Bank Telescope. We detect seven absorption features in the survey that coincide with laboratory transitions of trans-methyl formate, from which we derive a column density of 3.1 (+2.6, -1.2)x1013/cm2 and a rotational temperature of 7.6 ± 1.5 K. This excitation temperature is significantly lower than that of the more stable cis conformer in the same source but is consistent with that of other complex molecular species recently detected in Sgr B2(N). The difference in the rotational temperatures of the two conformers suggests that they have different spatial distributions in this source. As the abundance of trans-methyl formate is far higher than would be expected if the cis and trans conformers are in thermodynamic equilibrium, processes that could preferentially form trans-methyl formate in this region are discussed. We also discuss measurements that could be performed to make this detection more certain. This manuscript demonstrates how publicly available broadband radio astronomical surveys of chemically rich molecular clouds can be used in conjunction with laboratory rotational spectroscopy to search for new molecules in the interstellar medium.