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John Minchillo / AP

President Trump has his most important foreign policy week, meeting the Egyptian President, the Jordanian King, and later in the week the big one — China's President Xi Jinping. These follow Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's well-received visit to NATO HQ in Brussels.

On China: CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper colorfully introduced Trump's meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. "Awkward," Tapper said, "to suggest a round of golf with a man whose country you just accused of raping America."

  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the chief architect of the administration's trade policies, signaled to Tapper — without specifically naming China — that the administration won't be kind to China's practice of dumping products (read: steel) into the U.S. at "unfairly low prices."

The Financial Times this afternoon popped a meaty interview with Trump. Four takeaways:

  • Trump said the U.S. will act unilaterally if China does not pressure Pyongyang: "Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you."
  • Asked whether he could cut a deal with Xi at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said: "I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so."
  • Asked how you bring China's trade surplus down quickly: "By telling China that we cannot continue to trade if we are going to have an unfair deal like we have right now. This is an unfair deal."
  • Asked if he is going to equalize tariffs: "I don't want to talk about tariffs yet, perhaps the next time we meet. So I don't want to talk about tariffs yet. But you used the word equalise. That is a very good word because they are not equalized."

Go deeper

1 dead as severe storms pummel the South

A tree that fell on a home carport damaged a vehicle during a storm in Central, Louisiana. No injuries were reported, according to Central Fire Department. Photo: Central Fire Department/Twitter

Strong storms lashed the South early Saturday, spawning at least one tornado and unleashing strong winds and hail. And forecasters more severe weather was expected to hit the parts of the region in the coming hours.

Details: Thousands of customers lost power during the storms in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. An F3 tornado that hit St Landry Parish, Louisiana, killed one person and wounded seven others.

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak.
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings.
  5. World: Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.