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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

During President Trump's weekend trip to Japan, he was quick to single out Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corp., saying: "There's nothing like the boss," at a formal dinner with auto industry leaders, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: After Trump threatened to levy auto tariffs against Japan and the European Union, Toyota released a statement countering Trump's claims that foreign automakers pose problems for American national security, saying: it "sends a message to Toyota that our investments are not welcomed, and the contributions from each of our employees across America are not valued."

The context: Trump declared that imported cars pose a threat to national security on May 17. He will delay the decision to impose tariffs on foreign cars for up to 6 months, Reuters reports.

"As you know, the United States and Japan are hard at work negotiating a bilateral trade agreement which will benefit both of our countries. I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years. But that’s OK. Maybe that’s why you like us so much.”
— President Trump
  • The U.S. and Japan have been negotiating a bilateral trade agreement. Trump's said he hopes it benefits both countries since, "Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years," per Bloomberg.
  • The talks started in 2018.
  • The White House has hinted that it would seek voluntary export quotas on cars from its trading partners. "This sparked anger from automakers, dealers and foreign governments" per Reuters.
  • Toyota said it would invest $13 billion in the U.S., but changes to the status quo would be a "major set-back for American consumers, workers and the auto industry," per Reuters.
  • European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem tweeted: "We note that US postpones decision on car tariffs for 180 days. But we completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat. The EU is prepared to negotiate a limited trade agreement incl cars, but not WTO-illegal managed trade."

Go deeper: Trump wants to keep car tariffs in his back pocket

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.