A Brawl With Mexico

Friday, January 27, 2017Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 9.56.25 AM

Good Friday morning.
• A proposal for an import tax stokes confusion.
President Trump appeared to embrace on Thursday a proposal by House Republicans that would impose a 20 percent tax on all imported goods. The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters that the proceeds would be used to pay for the border wall with Mexico.
But a furious uproar prompted Mr. Spicer to temper his earlier remarks, saying the plan was simply “one idea” that might work to finance the wall.
• The growing tensions scuttle a U.S.-Mexico meeting.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump’s border wall plan had escalated into a diplomatic standoff, with Mexico’s president publicly canceling a scheduled meeting at the White House and Mr. Trump firing back. The American president accused Mexico of burdening the United States with illegal immigrants, criminals and a trade deficit.
• Mr. Trump calls for a plan to hit ISIS harder.
Meanwhile, the White House is drafting a presidential directive that calls on Defense Secretary James N. Mattis to devise ways to strike the Islamic State more aggressively. The tactics could include American artillery on the ground in Syria and Army attack helicopters to support an assault on the group’s de facto capital, Raqqa, officials said.
• Republicans fall into line (on ideas they once opposed).
From the time Mr. Trump became their candidate until he took the oath of office, congressional Republicans have treated his policy pronouncements as essentially a distraction.
But now, the question of whether they would change Mr. Trump or Mr. Trump would change them has an early answer. Advantage: Trump.
NICHOLAS FANDOS
President Trump told corporate leaders on Monday that they could face punishing tariffs and other penalties if they don’t bring back manufacturing jobs.

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What We’re Watching

What Trump Can and Can’t Do to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Rules
President Trump outside the Oval Office on Thursday.
President Trump outside the Oval Office on Thursday. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
President Trump campaigned on sweeping promises to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations and to “get rid of” the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump offered a down payment on those promises, with memorandums clearing the path to the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. He is expected to roll back a few more rules, including some on coal production, in the next few weeks.
Although dismantling Mr. Obama’s most far-reaching climate regulations can be done, it would take legal acumen and a lot of time — perhaps longer than a single presidential term.
The Times has taken a look at what Mr. Trump can and can’t do, and how quickly, to roll back environmental regulations.
Read more »

 

Mr. Trump will welcome Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain to the White House to discuss the framework for a bilateral trade deal. The meeting, Mr. Trump’s first with a foreign leader, will include a joint news conference, scheduled to begin around 1 p.m. Check nytimes.com for live coverage.
The annual March for Life will take place in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, will address the marchers — a sign of anti-abortion activists’ growing clout with the government.
More executive actions are expected from the White House in the coming days, including one barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States and another opening an investigation into alleged widespread voter fraud.
President Trump in his office aboard Air Force One on Thursday.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, BINYAMIN APPELBAUM AND ALAN RAPPEPORT

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, appeared to endorse the proposal as a way to pay for a wall on the Mexican border, but then he backtracked.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer briefing reporters on board Air Force One as President Trump traveled to Philadelphia for a Republican Party retreat.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
TAX POLICY
By NEIL IRWIN

A proposal put forth by the White House on Thursday at first sounded like a big tariff on Mexican imports, but the reality is less drastic.

President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico this week. His cautious approach to President Trump had caused an outcry in Mexico.

Ronaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By AZAM AHMED

The cancellation of his trip to the United States ended months of diplomacy for a leader caught between his people and an unpredictable, at times hostile, American president.

A light factory in Sichuan Province in China. A plan to tax imports could raise prices for companies that use imported components.

Zhong Min/European Pressphoto Agency
By KEITH BRADSHER, RACHEL ABRAMS AND BILL VLASIC

A plan to revamp corporate taxes by making importers pay, but not exporters, could be costly for retailers and for many industries, as well as for consumers.

Undocumented immigrants waited to be loaded onto an Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter jet in Mesa, Ariz., in 2015.

Trump’s Immigration Order Expands the Definition of ‘Criminal’

By JENNIFER MEDINA

Tucked into the president’s executive order on building a wall along the border with Mexico is language that widens officials’ authority to deport undocumented immigrants.

President Trump greeted Speaker Paul D. Ryan as he and Vice President Mike Pence attended a retreat for congressional Republicans in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Republicans Now Marching With Trump on Ideas They Had Opposed

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Republicans’ longstanding opposition to federal spending, along with other party orthodoxy, is being cast aside to support President Trump.

CONGRESSIONAL MEMO
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, center, was joined on Capitol Hill on Tuesday by, from left, Senators Cory Gardner, John Barrasso, John Thune and John Cornyn.

As Trump Thunders, G.O.P. Lawmakers Duck and Cover

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

Tactics that Republicans have used to shrug off questions about the president: Choose to answer a question that no one asked, declare oneself “a policy guy,” or stroke the chin of a puppy.

FIRST 100 DAYS BRIEFING
President Trump stepped off Air Force One in Philadelphia on Thursday, where he went to meet with congressional Republicans.

Trump to G.O.P. Gathering: Where’s My C.I.A. Director?

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, MAGGIE HABERMAN AND GARDINER HARRIS

President Trump’s question at a congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia raised concerns about his understanding of the agency’s independence.

Stephen K. Bannon, center, President Trump’s chief strategist, met with business leaders at the White House on Monday.

Key Trump Strategist Says News Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Stephen K. Bannon, one of the president’s top advisers, gave a scathing assessment of the industry, calling it “the opposition party.”

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis greeted President Trump at the reviewing stand during the inaugural parade on Friday.

Trump Will Call for a Pentagon Plan to Hit ISIS Harder, Officials Say

By MICHAEL R. GORDON, HELENE COOPER AND ERIC SCHMITT

The White House is drafting a presidential directive to look into more aggressive tactics that could include American artillery and attack helicopters in action in Syria.

Anti-abortion and abortion-rights protesters faced off outside of the Supreme Court in Washington last March.

Trump on Their Side, Conservatives See Hope in Lengthy Abortion Fight

By JEREMY W. PETERS

Two battles loom in Washington for social conservatives: an effort in Congress to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and the choice of a Supreme Court nominee who opposes abortion.

What We’re Reading

The 2018 gubernatorial race in California will be one of the most watched in the country. The Los Angeles Times looks at how the field to lead the nation’s blue capital is shaping up.
Close up: Ms. Conway, counselor to the president, sat down with The Washington Post to talk about the campaign, her career and how the news media covers Mr. Trump.
Speaking of interviews, The Atlantic has an in-depth one with Senator Tom Cotton, the Republican foreign-policy hawk from Arkansas, on how he is acclimating to the Trump presidency.
President Trump asked the National Park Service to confirm his view of the inaugural crowd size.

Damon Winter/The New York Times
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

The president asked why someone from the agency had shared someone else’s Twitter post giving an unflattering comparison of his inaugural crowd.

A depot for the Keystone XL project in Gascoyne, N.D.

Terray Sylvester/Reuters
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

Even with President Trump’s blessing for the project, blocked by his predecessor, it still faces changing energy markets and environmental protests.

The entrepreneur Elon Musk last month. In the run-up to the presidential election, Mr. Musk openly criticized Donald J. Trump’s candidacy, but he has since joined an advisory council of the president.

Sasha Maslov for The New York Times
COMMON SENSE
By JAMES B. STEWART

The political tide might seem unfavorable for electric cars and solar panels, but the new president may see them as part of a job-producing future.

Workers raising a taller fence along the United States-Mexico border in November. President Trump wants to erect a border wall, paid for with Mexican money.

Christian Torres/Associated Press
ECONOMIC SCENE
By EDUARDO PORTER

Like other proposals, the latest plan to finance the wall, a 20 percent tax on imports, seems straightforward. But carrying it out would be another matter.

Rhona Wise/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By ROBERT PEAR

The ads would have run in the final days of the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which ends Tuesday. Many consumers tend to sign up just before the deadline.

A Right to Life group set up a table at Georgetown University in Washington.

Al Drago/The New York Times
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN AND ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

This year’s anti-abortion demonstration in Washington — the 44th annual March for Life — is expected to be a celebratory event at which abortion foes can savor a few wins.