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Evan Vucci/AP

Before a meeting with pharmaceutical company executives today at the White House, President Trump explained how he'll get lower drug prices for Americans, without cutting drug company R&D budgets:

Our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for U.S. manufactured drugs so our drug companies have greater financial resources to accelerate the development of new cures.

Trump railed against high drug prices, as expected, and vowed to "increase competition and bidding wars big time" in Medicare, which he accused of "price fixing." At the same time, he said he'll cut regulations "at a level nobody's ever seen before" and promised to oppose anything that would make it harder for smaller drug companies to bring their products to market.

But Trump suggested his drug pricing policies will have a heavy dose of "America first." He said it was "very unfair what other countries are doing to us," and told the drug executives that "you have to get your companies back here."

After the meeting, Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., said the executives had a "great conversation" with Trump about tax policies, regulations and encouraging medical innovation, according to a pool report. And Stephen Ubl of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America tweeted this:

Go deeper

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Exclusive: Sen. Coons sees new era of bipartisanship on China

Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a "shock to the system," propelling members of Congress toward the goal of shoring up America's ability to compete with China, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Axios during an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Competition between China's authoritarian model and the West's liberal democratic one is likely to define the 21st century. A bipartisan response would help the U.S. present a united front.

By the numbers: States weighing voting changes

Data: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law; Cartogram: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Georgia is not alone in passing a law adding voting restrictions, but other states are seeing a surge in provisions and proposals that would expand access to the polls, according to data from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Driving the news: Just Wednesday, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have been released from prison.