Jan 18, 2017

Trump on border adjustments

In his interview with Axios, the president-elect walked back comments from an earlier chat with the Wall Street Journal in which he said he thought a tax reform strategy called "border adjustment" was "too complicated."

Trump said that the Journal's piece "didn't totally reflect [his views] accurately." He told Axios the idea is "certainly something that is going to be discussed" in negotiations with Congressional Republicans over their forthcoming corporate tax reform plan.

What is border adjustment? A tax policy that penalizes companies that import products from abroad and benefits ones that keep production in the United States. The change will be fought tooth and nail by retailers and other firms with large import expenses, but it will raise significant revenue, allow a big headline corporate tax cut, and adjust the tax code to support U.S. employment.

Why the change of tune? Paul Ryan publicly defended border adjustment through a spokesperson on Tuesday — evidence that this is an issue that Republicans on the Hill will go to bat for. The reason is simple arithmetic. Border adjustment is estimated to raise roughly $1 trillion in new revenue, helping to pay for the bulk of the House reform plan, and it also can be sold as worker and export friendly — two must-haves for Trump's base.

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Federal court temporarily halts "Remain in Mexico" program

Migrant wearing a cap with U.S. flagin front of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Image

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's earlier injunction on Friday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of migrants seeking asylum have been forced to wait out their U.S. immigration court cases across the border in Mexico under the policy. The Trump administration has long credited this program for the decline in border crossings following record highs last summer.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle to contain it. Meanwhile, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow this morning tried to reassure the markets, which continued to correct amid growing fears of a U.S. recession.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected about 83,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Bernie's plan to hike taxes on some startup employees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that would tax nonqualified stock options at vesting, rather than at exercise, for employees making at least $130,000 per year.

The big picture: Select employees at private companies would be taxed on monies that they hadn't yet banked.