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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A fresh example of the political hurricane about to hit Trump's hardline trade agenda: Incoming Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Axios he may try to make it harder for the president to impose new tariffs.

What he's saying: Grassley said he would take a favorable view of legislation limiting the administration's power to impose tariffs to protect national security (known as Section 232 authority). "Maybe the definition of national security or maybe the conditions under which national security could be used as an excuse is a little wide," he told Axios.

Why it matters: Grassley's frankness about supporting this type of effort will cheer free traders. The concept of constraining Section 232 power isn't new, but Republicans thus far have been loath to defy Trump.

  • That could be changing. Members of Congress sound increasingly worried they'll need to block the president from putting massive new tariffs on auto imports. Trump already used Section 232 to tax steel and aluminum, and he is now looking to use it to impose tariffs of more than 20% on foreign cars.

Between the lines: Grassley, a farmer himself, is among farm country's staunchest congressional advocates. The Chinese and other countries have targeted American farmers with penalties in retaliation for Trump's tariffs.

  • Grassley only has two years left to chair Finance (this will be his second round in the position), so he will need to quickly cement his legacy.
  • One bill to watch is Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's 232 reform, co-sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

Defying Trump will never be easy for Republicans, especially as Trump will likely say any congressional push to limit his trade agenda favors the Chinese over Americans.

  • But Grassley will likely fire back with his own populist defense of American farmers.

The bottom line: While the administration has eased some Republican members' concerns by reaching an updated trade deal with Mexico and China, many farm-state members say they still worry about how the rest of Trump's trade disputes will play out.

  • "The interest in solving this problem is increasing," said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
  • Having Grassley chair Senate Finance is "beneficial," he added, since his constituents are "significantly challenged by lack of trade with China."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.