J. Scott Applewhite / AP

As Donald Trump will happily tell you, nobody sells a product better than Donald Trump. House Republican leaders are waiting for the President to turn his famous salesmanship skills to the border adjustment tax — a linchpin of Paul Ryan's tax plan that promises to raise more than $1 trillion by raising taxes on imports while exempting exports.

The problem: If President Trump doesn't get behind border adjustability — and we mean use the full force of the bully pulpit to pressure Senate Republicans and wavering House conservatives — this thing is dead on arrival.

We know Steve Bannon likes the idea. He's told associates that border adjustment is an "American nationalist" concept. But the President has equivocated, and seems more animated by punitive tariffs, which would never fly with GOP leadership.

I asked Trump's press team whether the conventional wisdom on the Hill is true, that Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn doesn't like border adjustability. The spokeswoman declined to comment on Cohn's views. Her response: "We're looking at all options – including border adjustability – remain on the table."

Key indicators of trouble:

  • We've seen no signs yet that the President is willing to spend a penny of political capital on border adjustability.
  • The majority of the House Freedom Caucus is against the plan. Without their support, Ryan and co can't get border adjustability through the House. These Freedom Caucus members will only wobble if Trump goes after them.
  • As we've laid out before, border adjustment has a Senate problem. The GOP Senators from states home to big box retailers — think Walmart in Arkansas, Home Depot in Georgia and Lowe's in North Carolina — have compelling reasons to oppose border adjustability.

What's next: Even the most fervent House conservatives tell me they can't fault Ways and Means chair Kevin Brady, who has been working to sell border adjustability to his colleagues. But House leaders are also realistic, and they need cash to pay for massive tax cuts. Don't be surprised if you hear that House leaders are dusting off the Camp tax plan. It was the GOP's last attempt at tax reform and contains plenty of other revenue options, including a controversial financial products section.

But you can't avoid making enemies when raising $1 trillion. If it's not the retailers or oil and gas, it might be the banks. Watch the reactions of Cohn and the other Goldman Sachs alums in Trump's orbit if House leaders start looking at the dreaded "Bank Tax."

Go deeper

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.