Connect with us

More Top Stories

Trump signs tariff proclamation: A strong steel and aluminum industry is ‘vital to our national security’

Published

on

Spread the love
None of that stopped Trump from moving forward with his plan Thursday to erect 25% and 10% tariffs on steel and aluminum imports respectively, as he signed two tariff proclamations at the White House on Thursday, surrounded by steel and aluminum workers.
“A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security — absolutely vital. Steel is steel, you don’t have steel you don’t have a country,” Trump said Thursday, adding that foreign imports and dumping have led to “shuttered plants and mills” and the laying off of “millions of workers,” overstating the job losses in those industries, which his own adviser put at under 100,000.
“This is not merely an economic disaster, but it’s a security disaster we want to build our ships, we want to build our planes … with steel and aluminum from our country,” Trump said. “We’re finally taking action to correct this long overdue problem. Today I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum.”
But in a shift from recent plans, Trump will exempt Canada and Mexico from the tariffs and allow other US allies to petition for similar exemptions.
How would Trump's tariffs affect your state?

The NAFTA trading partners will be exempted while the three countries continue to renegotiate that free trade agreement and a senior administration official also cited the “security relationship” between the three countries as a rationale for their exemption.
Those exclusions are expected to quell some of the uproar, but could still set off a trade war between the US and several countries — a battle Trump insists the US can win even as some of his closest advisers worry the tariffs could hurt the growing American economy. But the prospect of additional country exclusions could also lead Trump to increase the tariff rate on other countries, a senior administration official warned.
Trump is imposing the tariffs using a rarely employed trade provision known as Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, claiming a national security rationale for protecting the domestic steel and aluminum industries. Anticipating attacks on that legal basis, a senior administration official insisted the rationale was “unassailable” and stressed that national security includes both national defense and economic security.
But the President also framed his decision along political lines on Thursday, just days before he heads to Pittsburgh — the heart of steel country — for a rally aimed at boosting a struggling Republican congressional campaign.
“I’m delivering on a promise I made during the campaign and a promise I’ve been making for a good part of my life,” Trump said as he prepared to sign the tariff proclamations.
It’s not clear what political effect the order would have in the Pennsylvania race. The Democratic candidate in the race supports Trump’s tariff proposal.
The move is expected to be questioned and countered, and could further put the US at odds with the international community.
Coming on the same day that 11 US allies — but not the US — sign a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement, the move on tariffs only underscores Trump’s embrace of the protectionist policies he believes helped him win the presidency.
In the US, Trump faced a stiff rebuke from trade groups representing retailers and manufacturers who are top consumers of steel and aluminum. He also faced continued criticism from within his own party, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan who continued to lament Trump’s move — even as he applauded the exemptions for Canada and Mexico.
“I am pleased that the President has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law,” Ryan said. “Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law.”
The country exclusions marked a shift in the administration’s thinking in recent days, after the President’s trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday he did not expect any countries to be exempted from the tariffs.
Pressed about the change, a senior administration official rejected the change as a “softening” and instead touted the flexibility built into the tariff proclamations Trump is issuing.
The tariff signing came after days of confusion over how the President would move forward. On Thursday morning, the situation was still shrouded in uncertainty. Multiple officials awoke with no clear picture of what Trump was prepared to sign during the afternoon event. Advisers have been scrambling since last week to finalize details on the tariffs after Trump announced he would impose them during a meeting with industry executives.
Multiple senior administration officials familiar with the planning said Trump was prepared to sign something on Thursday afternoon — though actual details of the document were still coming together through the morning. Advisers were prepared with a largely symbolic memo declaring Trump’s intent to take action on steel tariffs in case a more substantive order wasn’t final.
But by midday it appeared that formal language imposing new tariffs was ready to sign. Trump told reporters in the Cabinet Room that certain countries would be excluded, including Canada and Mexico, and kept open the possibility of excluding other nations like Australia, which are important national security allies.
“I’ll have a right to go up or down, depending on the country, and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said.
The confusion on Thursday in the hours leading up to the signing was an exclamation point to cap off a week of disarray within the White House sparked by a President eager to swiftly move forward with the tariffs — even as the policy was still being written.

Further disarray

The scramble over the tariffs has propelled the White House into further disarray over the past week. Trump’s surprise announcement has already spooked markets, caused a rift with his closest allies on Capitol Hill, and prompted the resignation of his top economist Gary Cohn.
“He may be a globalist, but I still like him,” Trump said Thursday of Cohn, who was sitting in the room and announced earlier this week he is resigning as director of the National Economic Council. “He is seriously a globalist, there is no question. But in his own way he’s a nationalist because he loves our country.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, aides described rapid-pace scheduling changes as Trump applied pressure on his staff to finish writing the tariff order.
Trump says quitting adviser could return to administration

Initially, aides had planned for a noon event on Thursday before moving the time to 3:30 p.m. ET. Facing persistent questions over the legality of the move, the event was pulled from the schedule, but on Thursday morning it was back on the schedule and Trump was previewing it himself on Twitter.
The effort among US allies and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill to stop Trump from moving forward with his tariff proposal continued into Thursday — further underscoring the uncertainty about how Trump would act.
Top Republican lawmakers and the leaders from major US trading partners have resisted the tariffs plan and in recent days were flooded with phone calls from foreign allies trying to stop Trump’s tariff plan.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Thursday with the top two congressional Republicans — House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — to discuss the matter, Trudeau’s office said.
More the 100 GOP members of Congress wrote Trump on Wednesday urging him to “reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences.”
Despite the exemptions, the tariffs could lead to retaliation from certain countries. The European Union on Wednesday detailed a list of US-made goods that it would subject to reciprocal tariffs if Trump follows through with his plan. China also indicated it was preparing an appropriate response.
Trump was unmoved by those threats, instead declaring trade wars “easy to win” as he moved forward to implement a key campaign promise.

More Top Stories

Houston Recalls Legacy of George Bush, Its Lone Star Yankee and Senior Booster

Published

on

Spread the love

HOUSTON — Inside the airport that bears his name, George Herbert Walker Bush looks, at a distance, as if he’s wearing a cape.

An 8-foot-tall bronze statue at the Houston airport shows Mr. Bush, who , Barbara Bush[4], who died in April at the age of 92. After Mr. Bush’s death on Friday, Houston lost its two most famous residents in the span of seven months.

“George H.W. Bush served with valor and integrity as the 41st president of the United States,” Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, said in a statement. “But to Houstonians he was one of our most esteemed and relatable neighbors. He and his wife, Barbara Bush, were our sports teams’ biggest fans, and boosters for everything Houston.”

This was the man whose most memorable quote in years had to do with men’s hosiery. In 2012, as his fondness for wearing bright eye-catching socks was going strong, he explained that he simply “likes a good sock.” At his wife’s funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Mr. Bush wore a pair of socks with a colorful stack-of-books design, a tribute to Mrs. Bush’s advocacy work for family literacy.

In Houston and its surrounding suburbs, Mr. Bush had not only an airport in his name but a park, a high school and a few more life-size statues. Above Buffalo Bayou, a bronze statue of Mr. Bush looks out into the distance with his hand in his pocket, gazing at, of all things, James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state and Mr. Bush’s tennis partner at the Houston Country Club. The statues of the two close friends face each other in the downtown park, separated by about 100 yards, in Houston’s oddest and longest-running staring contest.

“All I can do now,” Mr. Bush told The New York Times in 2011 about the statue, “is hope that the pigeons will be kind and gentle.”

Charles C. Foster, a Houston immigration lawyer and a longtime friend of the Bush family, came up with the idea for the George H.W. Bush Monument, which was unveiled in 2004. Mr. Foster recalled the day he sat in Mr. Bush’s office at 10000 Memorial Drive and asked for his blessing for the project.

Image
Mr. Bush in 1970, when he was a congressman.CreditAssociated Press

“He looked at me and he sort of looked up at the ceiling,” Mr. Foster said. “He pointed to the ceiling and said, ‘Shouldn’t you wait until I’m up there?’ And then he said, pointing downward, ‘Or perhaps down there?’”

In 1990, Mr. Bush helped turn the eyes of the world to Houston.

As president, he brought thousands of reporters and foreign dignitaries to Houston that summer for the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations, an annual gathering of the world’s economic powers. The summits had been held in a number of global cities — London, Tokyo, Paris, Venice — and Mr. Bush made the case that his adopted hometown belonged among such world-class company.

Houston was scrappier back then. The city was rebounding from an oil bust in the 1980s that crippled the economy, and it tried hard to present its best, and cleanest, face to the cameras and the visitors, picking up millions of pounds of trash, repaving roads and enlisting the aid of 12,000 volunteers.

“That was huge for Houston,” Mr. Foster said of the 1990 summit. “When the president had a chance, he could have picked some mountain retreat. But he picked his hometown. He was well aware of the chip on our shoulders that we didn’t feel like Houston got the recognition that it should.”

Now, with 2.3 million residents (compared with 1.6 million in 1990), Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, known as much for its diversity as its energy-capital status. George Bush High School, part of the Fort Bend school district, is 43 percent Hispanic, 38 percent black, 12 percent Asian and 4 percent white. More than 90 languages and dialects are spoken in the district.

Early Saturday morning in the upscale Tanglewood area, Houstonians paused at the gates at South Post Oak Lane and North West Oak Drive — the entrance to the gated community where Mr. Bush lived. Someone draped an American flag in the center of the gates, decorated for the holidays with Christmas wreaths.

Shirley Matthews, 66, a lifelong Houstonian who lives nearby, walked up and took a picture of the memorial for her mother. “He was just a good person,” she said. “He wasn’t perfect. But it’s family, and we love each other.”

References

  1. ^ died at his home here on Friday (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Read the obituary of George H.W. Bush. (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ the funeral for his wife (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Barbara Bush (www.nytimes.com)

Continue Reading

More Top Stories

A Close Race, a Mysterious Ballot and Control of Alaska’s House at Stake

Published

on

Spread the love

With a crucial legislative seat in Alaska teetering toward a tie earlier this month, lawmakers in Juneau braced for the possibility of a coin toss deciding control of the state’s House of Representatives. Then a mysterious extra ballot emerged that threw the process into further disarray.

Amid several counts, the latest coming on Friday afternoon, a single ballot drew scrutiny across the state.

The state’s review board certified the race, between Kathryn Dodge, a Democrat, and Bart LeBon, a Republican, as a tie earlier this week, with exactly 2,661 votes going to each candidate. The extra ballot, for Ms. Dodge, could have settled the race for the Fairbanks-area district seat.

Later on Friday, the mystery appeared to have been solved — but the standoff over who won the election continued.

Samantha Miller, a spokeswoman for the state elections office, said that workers at Fairbanks’s No. 6 precinct told officials that a woman had come into the polling place to request a special needs ballot on behalf of her husband, who was outside in a vehicle.

The woman came back into the precinct. Her husband had made a mistake, she told the precinct worker, and needed a new ballot. She left behind the one he had already marked, thus making it a spoiled ballot.

The precinct chair told the worker who took the spoiled ballot to put it into a secrecy sleeve, “and that they would deal with it later in the day,” Ms. Miller said.

But instead, the spoiled ballot was put into a compartment with other questioned ballots.

Typically, Ms. Miller said, spoiled ballots are destroyed once they are accounted for. So, because the mystery ballot was found to be spoiled, it will not be counted, she said.

Still, that left the question of what happens if the recount that began on Friday afternoon ends in a tie — again.

Ms. Miller said that both candidates had five days to file a legal challenge to the results. And if the court decided the recount went as it should have, and the race was still a tie?

The prevailing candidate would be determined “by lot,” Ms. Miller said. “It could be a coin toss or some other way of deciding, as long as it’s random.”

It would not be the first time an Alaska race was determined by coin toss.

In 2006, State Representative Bryce Edgmon[1], a Democrat from Dillingham, beat the incumbent, Carl Moses. Mr. Moses’s name was drawn, so he got to make the call: Heads.

The state’s elections director at the time flipped an Alaska Mint medallion — the side with a walrus being heads and the side with the state seal being tails. It landed state seal side up.

Ms. Miller would not speculate about when the recount would be complete, but said both candidates were present, along with observers and officials.

Mr. LeBon did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Sara Harriger, a spokeswoman for Ms. Dodge, said in a statement that during Friday’s recount, one additional vote was found for Ms. Dodge and a challenged ballot was allowed for her opponent, Mr. LeBon, which meant that the tally stood at 2,662 apiece. Still tied.

Ms. Dodge said in a statement that she believed every legally cast ballot should be counted. “I just want everyone watching this process to take away a sense of confidence in our democratic system and a commitment to cast their votes in future races,” she said, “and knowing that their votes will matter.”

Ms. Dodge had said earlier on Friday that legal action “unfortunately” seemed probable.

“It’s certainly not what any of us expect when we set out to campaign, to find ourselves in a squeaker of this nature,” she said. “I hope we don’t have a coin toss. I don’t know quite what to say, but it doesn’t feel like it’s an appropriate way to settle an election.”

In Alaska, the repercussions of this race will be felt into the next legislative session, though party control of the House in Juneau will be far from clear-cut.

Political coalitions in Juneau do not always come down to party-line votes like in other state houses. Even if Ms. Dodge wins the race, Democrats would still not have an outright majority, and so members of the House will still be tasked with negotiating a coalition majority.

References

  1. ^ Bryce Edgmon (akleg.gov)

Continue Reading

More Top Stories

3 Killed After Pickup Truck Fleeing Border Patrol Hits Tire Spikes and Crashes

Published

on

Spread the love

Three people in a packed pickup truck were killed on Thursday afternoon after the driver ran over tire spikes and crashed on a Southern California highway while trying to flee Border Patrol officers, the authorities said.

The officers turned on their vehicle’s emergency lights and began chasing the pickup truck on Interstate 8, near Boulevard, Calif., at around 4:20 p.m., according to the United States Customs and Border Protection. The authorities said they believed that the pickup truck had been illegally driven over the southern border and had crashed through an “iron bar vehicle barrier.” They said they identified it by matching a piece that was missing from the truck to one agents had spotted on the ground near the border, though they did not elaborate.

The pickup truck reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour, weaving between cars and bypassing others on the side of the highway, before it drove over spikes that the Border Patrol had placed on the road, the California Highway Patrol said. About a mile later, the truck spun out of control and flipped over, ejecting the nine people who were riding in the truck’s bed, the authorities said.

A woman inside the truck, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was killed, as were two people riding in the bed, the police said. Seven people who had “multiple serious injuries” were taken to the hospital, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said.

The driver, a United States citizen whose name was not released, was the only person wearing a seatbelt, the agency said. The California Highway Patrol took the man into custody, but it was not clear whether he had been charged. The identities of the passengers in the truck have not been released either.

“The investigation into the smuggling incident is ongoing,” the spokesman said in an email, “and the Border Patrol is fully cooperating with the CHP in their investigation of the collision.”

About an hour after the crash, the Border Patrol stopped another vehicle that officers believed had crossed over the border with the pickup truck, the agency said. The driver of that car was also arrested.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Breaking News Report