Trump’s tariff threat
President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose a 35% tariff on American companies that move jobs outside the U.S.
Trump took to Twitter early Sunday morning with a message directed at corporations looking to relocate overseas:
“There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies,” Trump wrote, while also vowing to “reduce taxes and regulations on our businesses.”
The stream of tweets followed Trump’s role in convincing Carrier, an Indiana-based manufacturer of air conditioners and heating units, to keep some 800 jobs in the U.S. that were originally headed to Mexico.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska on Twitter questioned the effectiveness of the tariff.
“Pres-Elect Trump means well,” Sasse tweeted. “But won’t his 35% tariff idea raise prices on American families? How would it not be a new 35% tax on families?”
A report released in May by the nonpartisan National Foundation for American Policy found Trump’s earlier campaign pledge to impose a 35% tariff on goods imported from Mexico, and a 45% tariff on goods from Japan and China, would cost “the average American household more than $2,200 annually.”
‘Short list’ expands
Four new names have emerged as contenders for the secretary of state post, just days after Trump’s transition team announced the field of candidates had been narrowed to four top choices.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and retired Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis are expected to interview with Trump this week for the top diplomatic post, according to Politico.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also brought up former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton as a possibility when discussing the possible contenders during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and Jon Huntsman, a former Republican Utah governor who also served as the ambassador to China, has also been mentioned as a possibility by sources close to the transition, according to The Associated Press.
Last week, Trump’s transition team announced the field of secretary of state candidates had been narrowed to Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.
Petraeus, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to leaking classified information to a former mistress, sought to tamp down concerns about his past, telling ABC’ “This Week” he made a “mistake” and it was up to lawmakers “to factor that in and determine whether that is indeed disqualifying or not.”
Taiwan chat a ‘courtesy call’?
Pence downplayed a call between Trump and the president of Taiwan Friday, calling it a “courtesy call.”
The Indiana governor on Sunday morning talk shows said Trump was not sending a message to China or the diplomatic community, which was taken aback by the first call between a U.S. president or president-elect and head of Taiwan since 1979.
“This was a courtesy call with the democratically elected leader of Taiwan,” Pence told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. The controversy over the call, he said, seems “a little bit like a tempest in the teapot.”
Newsday’s David M. Schwartz reports on more of Pence’s Sunday morning comments here.
Escalating recount bid
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is leading the charge to force a recount of votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, will host a Monday morning rally in front of Trump Tower.
Her aides say she will pledge “to fight tooth and nail to verify the accuracy, security, and fairness of the vote.”
The rally comes as the Green Party takes its recount fight to federal court. On Saturday, the party dropped its bid for a Pennsylvania recount in the state’s courts, citing as a reason the $1 million bond required by the state to move forward with the effort. A day later, the Green Party announced it would resume the fight for a Pennsylvania recount in federal court.
Stein on Twitter wrote: “On Monday, I will escalate #Recount2016 in PA and file to demand a statewide recount on constitutional grounds. The people deserve answers.”
Trump shot back on Twitter, calling the Green Party-backed effort “a Stein scam to raise money.”
What else is happening
- Trump’s victory, and his pledge to invest in infrastructure jobs, could be a boon to the Long Island Rail Road, experts tell Newsday’s Alfonso Castillo.
- Madonna took jabs at Trump during a Miami fundraiser.
- Newt Gingrich said Trump has “suddenly realized” the magnitude of his new job as commander-in-chief.
- Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Trump to stay “informed” on foreign affairs and national security issues and not solely rely on his advisers.
- Trump has turned to millionaires and billionaires for his Cabinet picks, reports Newsday’s Yancey Roy.