What to expect next after Trump's Jerusalem move

Palestinians burn pictures of Donald Trump and Israeli PM Netanyahu
Palestinians burn posters of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump during a protest against the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Gaza City Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Photo: Khalil Hamra / AP

Domestic politics drove President Trump's potentially costly decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital: Even senior White House officials said they're "prepared for derailment" of Middle East peace efforts — temporarily, they hope.

Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 News, an Axios contributor, gives me this day-after scouting report from Tel Aviv:

  1. The Israeli government is jubilant. For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is the first big diplomatic achievement since Trump entered the Oval Office. But this is also a big political win for Netanyahu, who is entangled in police investigations over alleged corruption and has taken a hit in the latest polls.
  2. Palestinians are depressed. President Abbas managed to mobilize the entire Arab world and part of the Western world in an attempt to stop Trump's move, but failed. Some unrest is already felt in Palestinian cities, but the big thing to look at is what happens after the Friday prayers.
  3. Putting aside the symbolism of the U.S. recognition and the emotional reactions from both parties, a careful reading of Trump's speech shows one very important message regarding possible U.S. peace plan. Trump said he is going to do everything in his power to help the sides in getting a peace agreement and added: "Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks." So the future of Jerusalem, its borders and sovereignty will be on the table in every Trump-sponsored peace talk.
  4. Whether it is even possible to renew peace talks after Trump's speech remains to be seen.

Expecting a backlash, the State Department is asking Israel to restrain its official response "and is weighing the potential threat to U.S. facilities and people," according to a document seen by Reuters.

  • From talking points for diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to convey to Israeli officials: "We expect there to be resistance to this news in the Middle East and around the world."
  • Be smart: Trump's defiant decision reflects the focus on his domestic base (including evangelical Christians), regardless of international repercussions, that led him to renounce the Paris climate accord.

L.A. Times: "In his view, he is the president who pushes through toward 'historic' change while those around him urge equivocation. He is the president who bluntly scorns the judgment of elites. And he is the president who tallies 'promises kept.'"

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Where Trump's steel and aluminum trade war will hit first

Note: Includes only products under the "Iron & Steel & Ferroalloy" and "Alumina & Aluminum & Processing" NAICS commodity classifications. Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Chris Canipe and Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Trump administration has begun imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but several countries are exempted temporarily until May 1, as shown in the chart above. The administration may still apply quotas on exempted countries to prevent a flood of foreign steel and aluminum in the U.S. market, per the White House.

Why it matters: After railroading past a number of his advisors, Trump announced the tariffs on imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) earlier this month, citing national security concerns. But with the exemption noted above, the tariffs won't carry major bite, at least to start.

Haley Britzky 3 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.