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Trump participates in a meeting with leaders of the steel and aluminum industries at the White House. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Remember when my Axios colleague Amy Harder wrote this week about simmering trade tensions between President Trump and the oil-and-gas industry? Well, they're boiling over now that Trump is preparing to impose steep tariffs on steel imports (25%) and aluminum too (10%).

Why it matters: The action underscores how Trump's professed support for oil-and-gas producers is colliding with his super-hawkish trade stance — and the president's trade desires are winning the day right now.

Industry reaction: The oil-and-gas industry, which uses imported steel for an array of operations, bashed the move. Solar energy players also voiced concern that the tariffs could boost project costs.

  • American Petroleum Institute's Jack Gerard calls it "inconsistent with the Administration’s goal of continuing the energy renaissance and building world class infrastructure."
  • Reuters looks at the other industry lobbying groups that attacked the move, and also note a tangible effect — reporting that it will factor into Exxon's decision about whether to expand its refinery in Beaumont, Texas.
  • A spokesman for the Solar Energy Industries Association says that some installation companies have told the trade group that the steel penalties could drive up project costs as much as two cents per watt to utility-scale projects.
  • Greentech Media describes how the the tariffs could affect renewable power and energy storage.

The politics: ClearView Energy Partners, in a note yesterday, points out that Trump already won most states where oil-and-gas production is a significant share of GDP.

  • "As a result, economic risks for oil producers may not look like existential threats to White House campaign officials considering President Trump’s possible 2020 reelection bid or Republican efforts to defend House and Senate seats (the bigger risks are the GOP seats in states the President didn’t win)," they write.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

56 mins ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

2 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.