Trade rep targets EU hams, cheeses, olives and pasta for tariffs
Agency says it is waiting for WTO arbitrator’s ruling before next steps in long-running Airbus subsidy dispute

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer identified possible tariff targets in response to a possible World Trade Organization ruling against Airbus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Agricultural goods and metal products topped a list of European Union goods targeted for possible trade countermeasures as the U.S. Trade Representative turned up the pressure in the Airbus subsidy dispute on Tuesday.

The USTR added 89 tariff categories with a value of $4 billion in a new list of potential targets for retaliatory tariffs, increasing the potential value of such imports by about 19 percent since it took public comment on May 15 and 16 on possible targets.

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Ignoring GOP Pleas, Trump Sets Tariffs In Motion
Canada, Mexico initially exempt when import fees start March 23

President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb 23. His steel and aluminum tariffs will take effect March 23. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 4:22 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Thursday set in motion tariffs that will slap fees on many imports of steel and aluminum, moving ahead with a major part of his “America first” philosophy above the loud objections of Republican lawmakers.

“People are starting to realize how important it is,” Trump said just before signing in the Roosevelt Room. He said a “strong steel and aluminum industry” is “absolutely vital” for national security, predicting his action will trigger the reopening of American production facilities.

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Obama Takes Troubled Trade Portfolio to Asia
Has current political climate made big accords toxic?

From left, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, hold a 2015 event outside the Capitol urging congress not to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama goes to Asia this week promoting a trade agenda that appears imperiled by anti-globalization sentiment at home and abroad that could undo years of negotiations.

Tough comments recently from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and from two European leaders on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership all but signaled the delay and even possible death of both accords.

Lawmakers Criticize Europe for Going After Apple's Back Taxes
Calls to make U.S. tax system more attractive for multinational corporations

Photographers take iPhone photos of Apple CEO Tim Cook during a 2013 Senate hearing on offshore profit shifting and charges that Apple was avoiding taxes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers accused European authorities of a money grab by seeking more than $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple Inc.'s Ireland operations, and some are using the case to call for a tax overhaul.

The European Commission concluded Tuesday that Ireland should recover 13 billion euros in “unpaid taxes” — plus interest —from the tech giant's operations in the country.

Lawmakers to Obama: Press Allies at NATO Summit
White House official: 'Inflection point' as alliance faces old, new threats

Republicans and Democrats are urging President Barack Obama  to use his final NATO summit to press European leaders to be more aggressive against an old threat from their eastern flank and a new one to their south.  

White House officials see the gathering coming at "an inflection point" for NATO and Europe. Beginning Friday in the Polish capital of Warsaw, Western leaders will discuss what seems to be an ever-swelling list of threats that includes a more aggressive Russia, Islamic State attacks and a flood of migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa.  

Poll: Americans Increasingly Want to Fix U.S. First
New Pew survey tracks waning interest in assisting other countries

A military truck painted with the words "Make America Great Again" and "Trump 2016" drives along with Rolling Thunder bikers as they pass over Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial during the annual Memorial Day Rolling Thunder ride in Washington on May 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A majority of Americans want their government to focus on solving domestic problems rather than wading into foreign affairs, a new poll suggests.  

In the Pew Research Center’s Spring 2016 Global Attitudes Survey , 57 percent of Americans interviewed expressed a desire to have U.S. leaders look inward and “let other countries deal with their own problems.” This marks a nearly 11 percentage point increase in pro-isolationist sentiment over the last six years, Pew reported.  

White House Hedges on Syrian Refugees
Only around 1,500 refugees have been admitted to the U.S. so far

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, right, displays the iconic photo of a dead Syrian boy at a news conference in December. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The White House sounded only moderately confident Friday that it will reach President Barack Obama’s goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees by Oct. 1.  

Since Obama made the pledge last September , only around 1,500 have been admitted into the United States. The State Department has been working on a plan to admit almost as many each month in order to meet the president's benchmark.  

Counterterrorism Meeting Won't Include Belgian PM
White House says exclusion was not deliberate

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel after delivering a joint statement in Brussels in March (ANDREW HARNIK/AFP/Getty Images)

Though Belgium is still reeling from coordinated terror attacks that left 32 dead and some 300 injured last month, the country's prime minister won't attend a Monday meeting in Germany with President Barack Obama and four European leaders to discuss joint counterterrorism efforts.  

The absence of Charles Michel is being noted after some U.S. lawmakers and analysts asserted that Belgium and other European countries lag behind the United States in terms of the kind of security apparatus needed to sniff out and thwart attacks such as the bombings carried out in Brussels on March 22.