Kia cars await shipment at a South Korean port. Photo: Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. has launched a Section 232 national security investigation into foreign automobile imports, reports Reuters.

Why it matters: President Trump used the same law to set the first round of steel and aluminum tariffs in March. If this probe results in tariffs on auto imports, it will hurt China, which is looking to crack the American market, but it will also deal significant blows to U.S. allies Japan and South Korea.

The details: The probe will "investigate whether vehicle and parts imports were threatening the industry’s health and ability to research and develop new, advanced technologies," per Reuters.

There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry.
— Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement

The backdrop: The investigation comes as trade tensions between the U.S. and China are beginning to dissipate. Gao Feng, China's Commerce Ministry spokesperson, told reporters, “China opposes the abuse of national security clauses, which will seriously damage multilateral trade systems and disrupt normal international trade order."

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 20,177,521 — Total deaths: 738,716 — Total recoveries: 12,400,156Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 5,130,784 — Total deaths: 164,603 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.

51 mins ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.