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America First
June 25, 2018

Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced Monday that it will move the production of its European Union-bound motorcycles to sites overseas as a direct result of President Trump's escalating trade war, the Financial Times reports. Harley-Davidson said that European Union tariffs, which were imposed in retaliation to Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, would increase the average cost of a motorcycle to the EU from the U.S. by around $2,200, Marketwatch reports.

"Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region, reducing customer access to Harley-Davidson products and negatively impacting the sustainability of its dealers' businesses," the company said, adding that it plans to "shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the U.S. to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden."

The company's decision is a blow to Trump's goal of "America first" economic policies. The manufacturing jobs will reportedly be moved to plants in India, Brazil, and Thailand, Harley-Davidson said. Jeva Lange

December 18, 2017

President Trump plans to unveil a new national security strategy on Monday presenting China and Russia as rivals seeking to realign global power in a potential threat to U.S. interests, Trump administration officials said Sunday. Trump's policy statement is expected to reflect the America First themes of his campaign, reversing Obama-era warnings about climate change and emphasizing the economic implications of U.S. foreign policy. "This strategy advances what I would call a principled realism," one official said. "In some ways, the global balance of power has shifted in unfavorable manners to American interests. This new strategy presents a plan of how America can regain momentum to reverse many of these trends." Harold Maass

May 15, 2017

In the latest omnibus spending bill, President Trump got no money for his proposed border wall with Mexico, and Democrats won an increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health. Trump also got a big bump in military spending, and Democrats lost quite a bit, but "enraged by Democrats claiming victory after last month's government funding agreement, White House officials in recent weeks have pressed Hill Republicans to include more Trump priorities in the fiscal 2018 blueprint," Politico reports, and House Republicans are obliging.

Republicans are facing competing pressures and ideological priorities when writing their budget blueprint: Trump's expensive spending wish list — including infrastructure spending, the border wall, and the military — his campaign promises not to cut Medicare and Social Security, their longterm promises to shrink America's public debt and balance the budget, the GOP wish list of large tax cuts, and the political realities exposed in the fight to pass their health-care bill. Given those choices, House Republicans are considering cutting more than $400 billion, largely from domestic programs like food stamps, financial support for disabled adults and needy children, and maybe even veterans benefits.

"The critique last time was that we didn't embed enough Trump agenda items into our budget," Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a budget panel member, tells Politico. Trump has "made it clear it will be embedded in this budget. ... And so people will see a process much more aligned with President Trump's agenda in this forthcoming budget." The White House reportedly backs cuts to the same safety-net programs, which will be left to individual committees to flesh out. It is unclear what Senate Republicans will do, but the plan is to use the budget reconciliation process, meaning they'd need only a simply majority to pass the budget. You can read more about the GOP plans at Politico. Peter Weber

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