Mar 4, 2018

Trump trade advisers: Tariffs coming by next week, will apply to allies

Navarro (far right) and Ross in the Oval with Trump and Pence last year. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Peter Navarro, President Trump's top adviser on trade, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump will sign tariffs on steel and aluminum this week, or the following week at "the latest," and "at this point in time there's no country exclusions."

Why it matters: These tariffs could hit allies like Canada, South Korea and the U.K. hard, and they're hoping Trump will make exceptions in their cases. According to Navarro, that's not the plan.

Navarro's explanation:

"He made the decision to go with 25% tariffs on steel, 10% on aluminum across the board with no country exclusions and that's the way to do it, I believe, because simply that, for example, 10% tariff on aluminum, as soon as you start exempting countries you have to raise the tariffs on everybody else. As soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country and so it's a slippery slope," he said.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made similar comments on ABC's "This Week," though he left some wiggle room: "The decision obviously is his, but as of the moment as far as I know he's talking about a fairly broad brush. I have not heard him describe particular exemptions just yet."

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Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration to eliminate nuclear waivers tied to Iran deal

Pompeo testifies on Iran in February. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. is ending waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work at Iran's civilian nuclear facilities, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: This will eliminate most elements of U.S. sanctions relief still in place two years after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo said "continued nuclear escalation" made the move necessary, but critics warn it will encourage further Iranian enrichment.

Top Senate Democrat says State Dept. is working on new Saudi arms deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on May 20. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) wrote in a CNN op-ed on Wednesday that he learned that the State Department is currently working to sell thousands of additional precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Democrats say that Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general who was ousted on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recommendation, was investigating the administration's previous effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.