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Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Image

The U.S. Trade Representative on Friday announced plans for a 25% tariff to be slapped on $1.3 billion worth of French goods, but the Trump administration intends to defer the tax collection for up to six months.

The state of play: U.S. trade officials acknowledge the move is retaliatory, serving as a response to the 3% French digital service tax that targets major U.S. internet companies, like Facebook and Amazon. The U.S. argues the French tax is an unfair way to collect revenue from companies that earn billions in foreign markets.

  • The duties will affect French handbags, cosmetics and soaps, per Politico.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

NYT's Trump tax returns exposé explodes on social media

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The New York Times' bombshell tax investigation has become one of the most viral investigative news stories on social media during the Trump era, according to data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: The years-long anticipation of the release of President Trump's tax returns has hit a nerve among Americans, many of whom have been waiting to see whether the returns reinforce rumors of the president's flimsy financial record.

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

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