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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Less than three months after President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to negotiate a trade deal, talks between the two parties have stalled, mainly over the issue of "non-auto industrial goods," reports the WSJ.

The big picture: A European official told Axios' Jonathan Swan that in Trump’s private discussions at the United Nations, it became clear to his European interlocutors that Trump was still very much preoccupied by the U.S. trade deficit with the EU. They also got the impression that Trump remained fixated on automobile imports and thought this was his strongest point of leverage over his negotiating partners. The lack of progress in trade talks and the looming risk that Trump will introduce auto tariffs threatens to disrupt the world’s largest commercial partnership.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 mins ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

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