Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Trump signed a memorandum Thursday afternoon ordering Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to investigate aluminum imports as a threat to national security.

How that makes sense: There's only one domestic supplier of aluminum used in products like military planes and armor-plating for military vehicles, according to the AP. That's "very, very dangerous," as Ross put it Wednesday in a briefing with reporters. Compare that to China, which has surged from taking up 11% of the industry in 2000 to nearly 53%.

The motivation: Trump said the industry has been "severely damaged by unfair foreign trade. Cheap subsidized foreign exports have flooded into the market, destroying thousands of great American jobs."

What it means: This framing allows Ross to impose tariffs on the imports without violating World Trade Organization rules, per the AP. That's the second investigation Trump has ordered based on national security — last week it was steel.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 2,841,124 — Total deaths: 129,689 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
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  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineNew Jersey gov. wants national face mask requirement
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
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