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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China, Canada, Mexico, and the EU are responding to Trump’s trade war against each of them with their own retaliatory tariffs — or threats of them — against products from bourbon whiskey to cheese to chocolate.

Why these products are targeted: As Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo told Mexican media earlier this week, it’s about targeting districts whose lawmakers may get angry calls from constituents and companies in their states, and who then may try to get a hold of Trump's ear to influence how he moves forward.

“These are products that have political implications in districts, where important house members and senators have been raising concerns to President Trump about how he is managing these decisions. At the end of the day, the effect of this will fall over voters that live in districts that have a voice and a vote in the U.S. Congress.”
— Sec. Guajardo
  • For example: The dairy industry in Wisconsin, which House Speaker Paul Ryan represents, might explain cheese and yogurt's presence on the list. Kentucky, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell represents, might explain the bourbon. And Trump is not bound to want to upset Pennsylvania voters who were key to his 2016 victory, which may explain the chocolate.

What's happened:

  • These threats of retaliatory tariffs come in light of the fact that Trump had exempted Canada, Mexico, and the EU until this Friday from tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. (Here’s what happened this week in the trade war.)
  • The Trump administration announced tariffs on Chinese goods in March, and more in April, and China announced tariffs in response each time worth tens of billions of dollars.

The list of products:

  • China: Fruit, nuts, wine, pork, aircraft, automobiles (since been cut), soybeans, sorghum (since been cut), corn, cotton, wheat, forms of beef, cranberries, orange juice, whiskey, tobacco, liquid propane, some polyester, plastic products, chemicals, and forms of aluminum and steel. Fortune has a list of 106 products hit.
  • Canada: Cheese, pizza, quiche, chocolate, whiskies, toilet paper, paper towels, strawberry jam, ketchup, mustard, yogurt, lawn mowers, refrigerators, washing machines, maple syrup, beer kegs, mineral water, fresh orange juice, mayonnaise, salad dressing, automatic dishwasher detergents, cucumbers, gherkins, ball point pens, felt-tipped pens, plywood, bobbins, roasted coffee, licorice candy, toffee, hair spray, shaving creams, soaps, candles, kitchenware, manicure and pedicure preparations, handkerchiefs, facial tissues, printed postcards, some insecticides, iron products, sailboats, some chairs, mattresses, plastic bags, sleeping bags, playing cards, soy sauce, and forms of aluminum and steel.
  • Mexico: Lamps, pork, cheese, flat steel, apples, pears, grapes, cheese, blueberries, sausages, and other meat products.
  • EU: Bourbon whiskey, motorcycles, denim, cigarette, cranberry juice, orange juice, some pants and shorts, some bedlinen, corn, tobacco, t-shirts, motor boats, some rice, some beans, peanut butter, and forms of aluminum and steel.

What to watch: Some of these retaliatory measures have a comment period, like in Canada, and could still be tweaked before becoming finalized. The retaliatory measures from the EU could take years to be implemented. Plus, Trump has left the door open to future negotiations, so the entire premise of the tariffs and the retaliation may fall apart in the end after all, adding an amount of uncertainty to the entire situation.

Impact, for now: Consumers are likely to pay more for a chunk of goods, but it’s not just individuals that will feel the burn. Companies are likely going to grapple with a cascade of effects beyond just rising prices — including potential layoffs and sliced paychecks, too.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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