Oxygen. Cat food. Yarn, sandblasters and shingles. All could get pricier under new tariffs threatened by President Trump, which would effectively tax those goods — and thousands more — as they arrive in the U.S. from China.
Trump claims China already uses "harmful industrial policies" that make the tariffs payback for unfair practices. China, which says Trump's ignoring well-established trade rules, could hit back with its own levies (again).
Republicans and Democrats alike thumbs-downed the tariffs list that dropped Tuesday, as did U.S. business owners who expect to be hurt by them.
Getting negative at NATO
Ah, NATO. A group of friendly allied nations committed to one another since World War II. Let's see how their chummy summit opened in Brussels:
"Germany is totally controlled by Russia," Trump said at the summit's start on Wednesday. That's extraordinary rhetoric, aimed in this case at Germany's support for a Russian natural gas project that would put a pipeline through Europe.
"Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia," said Trump, who himself plans to meet privately with Russia's Vladimir Putin next week. But after facing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, Trump seemed to change his tone. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany," he said.
Punishment for the White House? Maaaaybe
A judge set deadlines for the Trump administration to reunite the families split up under the president's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. So what happens if they don't hit 'em? (Spoiler: They probably won't.)
Lower-ranking members of federal agencies could face jail time, or agency heads could receive public shaming in court — both of which could delayed by appeals. Or the judge could fine the executive branch and put the money toward aiding separated families. But legal experts told us all those options, thanks to questions of legality and longstanding tradition, seem unlikely.
Elsewhere in politics:
- Trump's ex-aide Manafort 'a VIP' in prison
- No major hacking from Russia this year (yet)
- Russian pop star: I didn't offer Trump prostitures
- Defense secretary wanted Marines in space