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Axios Visuals

President Trump announced on Thursday that he's going to impose tariffs on imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%). He has long called for these tariffs, saying America is being cheated by foreign competitors and its large trade deficits.

The big picture: Trump's announcement jolted markets, upset allies and led to rebukes from The Wall Street Journal and some congressional Republicans.

Winners and losers

Winners: Domestic steel and aluminum manufacturers avoid getting undercut on prices from abroad.

Losers: Companies that rely on steel and aluminum for production and services will face higher costs. Consumers could pay higher prices. Conservatives and free-traders are losing in their long-term effort to minimize tariffs and other import duties.

What's next: An escalating trade war?

Business
In Washington
Inside the White House
  • From Mike Allen and Swan: Trump has grown to especially hate Kelly’s rigid rules, so he purposely blew off Chief of Staff John Kelly’s process and announced planned tariffs in a haphazard way.
  • Staff can try to impose their views on Trump. But when it comes to trade — the one thing he’s believed consistently for 30 years — they will inevitably fail.
  • Staff to flee? Trump just completely circumvented the interagency process and is executing a policy chief economic advisor Gary Cohn and other free traders think is calamitous.
  • A 24% steel tariff was recommended to Trump, but he increased to 25% because it's a nice round number.
  • Trade is one of Trump's oldest consistent policy issues. In an Oval Office meeting last year, he told advisers: "I want tariffs. Bring me some tariffs!"
International fallout

Go deeper

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."

Advocates say Biden has let Haitian migrants down

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Christian Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Continued turmoil in Haiti is causing a growing number of Haitians to try to make it to American shores — and some advocates say the Biden administration isn't supporting this community in its time of crisis.

The big picture: Haitian-American activists in South Florida told Axios Today they feel like President Biden has gone back on campaign promises he made to the community to stand up for them.