Apr 20, 2017

Trump to start his crackdown on steel dumping

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump plans to issue a memo Thursday calling for the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports hinder national security, as first reported by Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs. (Axios has confirmed Jacobs' reporting.)

Why it matters: By initiating investigations under the umbrella of "national security," Trump is creating a pretext for using extraordinary measures to crack down on steel dumping. This could complicate the U.S.-China relationship at a time when Trump is explicitly linking trade negotiations to China's behavior with North Korea, as China is the top culprit for dumping cheap steel into the American market.

Something else you should know: This memo is much, much, milder than some of the ideas that were initially kicked around inside the West Wing. An early concept pushed by Administration nationalists was to impose immediate supplemental 25% tariffs on a wide range of product categories they believed were being unfairly dumped into the United States such as industrial chemicals, household appliances, paper and tires.

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina β€” especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.

Bob Iger to step down as CEO of Disney

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Walt Disney Company said Tuesday that it had named longtime Disney executive Bob Chapek as CEO Bob Iger's successor, effectively immediately. Iger will remain executive chairman of the company through 2021.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully turned around Disney’s animation and studio businesses and with the strategic acquisition of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Most recently, he was the person behind Disney's successful launch of its Netflix rival Disney+.

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