Photo: Street vendors at the pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana, with the US-Mexico barrier at their backs.(Toksave)
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President Trump signed two new executive orders today, aimed at reshaping US trade policy. One puts in place a wide-ranging study of America's half-trillion-dollar deficit with our largest trading partners. The other calls for stricter enforcement of anti-dumping laws to keep foreign manufacturers from undercutting US companies selling goods at fair prices. The orders come just one week before Trump meets with President Xii Jinping of China, which Trump has repeatedly accused of unfair trade practices. Peter Nicholas, who covers the White House for the Wall Street Journal, has details.
President Trump promised to tighten US borders by restricting travel and building his big beautiful wall between America and Mexico. But legal challenges to his travel ban and Mexico's refusal to foot the construction bill are making it hard for him to deliver. Nevertheless, the administration is moving forward on both fronts. It's opened a $600 million bidding contest for construction on the border wall and, in the past two weeks the administration implemented a new policy of "extreme vetting" of visa applicants -- one of Trump's signature campaign promises, but without the fanfare. This vetting was revealed in a series of diplomatic cables sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to embassies and consulates, explaining the new policy.
Miller on Trump's 'buy American' pledge being at risk with border wall
Taylor on White House calling for domestic cuts to finance border wall
Washington Post on Hispanic contractors that offered to build the wall getting death threats
Senate Republicans took aim at Planned Parenthood yesterday in a vote that unfolded like a House of Cards episode. With Democrats and two female Republicans opposed, it took a Georgia Republican showing up in a wheelchair, still recovering from back surgeries to cast his vote -- and Vice President Mike Pence still had to break the tie.
Photo by Sarah Mirk
The bill now heading to the President's desk would affect more than just Planned Parenthood. It seeks to undo an Obama Administration rule that prevented states from blocking funding for family planning clinics that also perform abortions. Emily Crockett of Vox has more on the story.
More From To the Point
Imprisoning our mentally ill? American jails and prisons have become hospitals for the mentally ill. A murderer doing 20 years at New York’s Sing Sing prison works with schizophrenics serving 24 months for misdemeanors. He tells Warren that sick people should be treated outside. The Sheriff in Chicago says it’s not just inhumane but a waste of taxpayers’ money. How did we get here? What can be done?
Did Trump get conned by Kim? Six months after threatening nuclear warfare, “little rocket man” and the “dotard” were talking peace in Singapore. Beyond the hype, did President Trump and Kim Jong Un really mean it? A seasoned diplomat, a UN nuclear weapons inspector and veteran journalists provide contrasting assessments.
Post primary wrap, what’s the takeaway? California’s billed as the heart of “resistance” to President Trump. But in this month’s Golden State primary, young and Latino voters stayed home. That’s produced a clash of voices between Progressive Democrats and Clinton-era Centrists. What will that mean come November with control of the Congress at stake?
The politics of prison reform Prison reform is moving in Red States, Blue States and (maybe) on Capitol Hill. But America still incarcerates more people than any other country-- including China. Meantime, the Trump White House is divided. Jared Kushner is pushing sentence reform, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to stay “tough on crime.” What are the prospects for much needed change?
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