By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
Grassley warns USMCA ‘dead’ if steel and aluminum tariffs persist: A replacement deal for Nafta may not get legislative approval because of the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliatory Canadian and Mexican levies, warns Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in a Wall Street Journal op-ed .
“These levies are a tax on Americans, and they jeopardize USMCA’s prospects of passage in the Mexican Congress, Canadian Parliament and U.S. Congress,” writes Grassley, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
“If these tariffs aren’t lifted, USMCA is dead. There is no appetite in Congress to debate USMCA with these tariffs in place,” he adds.
Juul’s lobbying in states runs counter to its promise to curb youth vaping: While Juul Labs tells officials in Washington that it’s committed to keeping its vaping products away from teens, the e-cigarette company 80-plus lobbyists in 50 states are pushing measures that undermine that pledge, says a New York Times report .
They are advocating for legislation that includes provisions denying local governments the right to adopt strict vaping controls and working to make sure that bills to discourage youth vaping do not have stringent enforcement measures, according to the report. Juul supports state bills that would raise the legal age for buying vaping and tobacco products to 21, but some of those bills fine only clerks and not shops’ owners for violations.
Juul, which is 35% owned by tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208895754/composite MO +2.35% , said in a statement that it’s “as committed as ever to combating youth usage but don’t take our word for it — look at our actions.”
Bolton’s approach to questioned: Some former Trump administration officials believe that National Security Adviser John Bolton’s insularity could be dangerous, particularly in a crisis, when various arms of the government and the military have to mount a quick and coordinated response, according to a New Yorker story .
The national security adviser is supposed to facilitate the president’ directives and coordinate policy among the various government agencies, but that process has completely broken down under Bolton, say critics quoted in the story.
Columnist says Kamala Harris needs to show courage: Voters want clarity, courage and candor from political candidates, and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris has failed to deliver that, says Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton .
When asked for a yes or no on whether there should be reparations for descendants of former slaves, Harris said, “I support that we study that,” the columnist notes.
The California Democratic senator also last week backtracked after initially sounding noncommittal on the issue of giving the right to vote to the Boston Marathon bomber and other criminals currently in prison. Skelton writes that her initial response was “a textbook example of how not to answer a question,” and he also criticized her later response.