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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump took a victory lap in the Rose Garden after achieving at least a rhetorical de-escalation of his trade war during a visit by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Between the lines: Critics will say Trump was taking credit for solving a problem he caused, but free traders were relieved that at least for now, there's a pause in new tariffs for the Continent. And they hope that Trump has found an exit ramp — a face-saving way to back out of an escalating round of tit-for-tat sanctions that have already begun to hurt Trump Country farmers.

The vague agreement sets a goal of getting to zero tariffs and zero subsidies:

  • But it leaves many unsettled questions to be worked out during the pause.
  • And it doesn't get into detail on two of the thorniest trade categories between the U.S. and Europe: autos and agriculture.
  • Steel and aluminum tariffs remain in effect, as do Europe's retaliatory measures. But there's a freeze.
  • Some big problems still need to be worked through, including regulatory issues.
  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross played major roles in the negotiations.

What Trump is thinking ... Trump has enlisted his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, to seek zero tariffs from the Germans.

  • Associates say Trump is enraged by all the BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes he sees in the U.S. He wants to see more Chevrolets on the streets of Germany.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.