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U.S. risks trade fight with Europe as sanctions delay expires

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China, Japan and Russia haven’t received exemptions from the duties. That will likely reduce steel shipments from those countries over time. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said late Friday that quotas on imports from Europe and other countries are necessary so imports from those countries don’t simply replace Chinese imports. The goal of the tariffs is to reduce total steel imports and boost U.S. production, Ross said.

“If you let everybody back out of the tariff, and you let them out of any kind of quota, how would you ever reduce the imports here?” Ross asked at a conference of business journalists. Ross is set to discuss the issue Monday with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.

Germany, the EU’s largest steel exporter to the U.S., accounted for about 5 percent of U.S. steel imports last year. South Korea made up the largest share, shipping about 13 percent of U.S. imports, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute analysis of government data.

The EU has compiled a list of retaliatory tariffs worth about $3.5 billion it will impose if its steel and aluminum isn’t exempted.

European leaders have resisted the idea of a quota. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement Sunday that she discussed the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May after returning from a White House visit Friday.

The three European leaders “agreed that the U.S. ought not to take any trade measures against the European Union,” which is “resolved to defend its interests within the multilateral trade framework,” Merkel’s statement said.

In her meeting with Trump, Merkel said, she saw little progress in obtaining permanent exemptions. “The decision lies with the president,” she said Friday.

In a separate trade battle with China, the United States has threatened to impose tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods in retaliation for what it argues are Beijing’s unfair trade practices and its requirement that U.S. companies turn over technology in exchange for access to its market. The White House also wants China to agree to reduce its $375 billion goods trade surplus with the U.S.

China has said it would subject $50 billion of U.S. goods to tariffs if the U.S. taxes its products. Trump has announced that an administration delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro will visit Beijing for negotiations on Thursday and Friday this week.

In addition to Mnuchin, Lighthizer, Ross and Navarro, the group will include economic adviser Larry Kudlow, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and Everett Eissenstat, deputy assistant to the president for International Economic Affairs.

“We’re going to have very frank discussions,” Mnuchin in an interview broadcast Monday on Fox Business.

Most analysts, however, think it’s unlikely the talks will reach permanent agreements and will more likely mark the start of longer-term negotiations.

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Nicola Sturgeon to get EU support for indyref2 as bloc 'needs UK to fail'

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NICOLA STURGEON will have the European Union’s “support” for a second referendum on independence to ensure the UK “fails”.

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Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman steals the show

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Amanda Gorman, 22, all but stole the show on Inauguration Day as she performed her original poem, “The Hill We Climb,” becoming the youngest inaugural poet known in the nation’s history.

Gorman spoke with force, poise and clarity outside the U.S. Capitol building in front of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, among others.

“We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice,” she recited. “And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.”

Biden’s inaugural team contacted Gorman late last month to perform a poem about unity in the United States, according to The Associated Press. She is now among inaugural poets including Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Miller Williams, Richard Blanco and Elizabeth Alexander.

Gorman’s performance drew awe from both those present and those watching virtually. Social media users quickly took note of the young poet, praising her on Twitter.

“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering — and so am I,” media mogul Oprah Winfrey tweeted. Ahead of the performance, Winfrey gave Gorman earrings and a ring shaped like a caged bird, a tribute to Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” according to CBS News.

Gorman also drew praise from Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams who tweeted, “Amanda Gorman’s message serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Gorman excitedly asked Lin-Manuel Miranda if he’d noticed references to Hamilton the musical in her poem and received kudos from the playwright too;

“You were perfect,” he tweeted. “Perfectly written, perfectly delivered. Every bit of it. Brava!”

Gorman has had much success as a poet. She became the nation’s first youth poet laureate at 19 while a sophomore at Harvard University. Ahead of the performance, Gorman told The New York Times that she wants the poem to inspire hope, without ignoring the country’s history of racism and violence.

“In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years,” she said. “But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal. It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”

Gorman said she struggled to write until the Capitol riot Jan. 6 gave her just the push she needed.

She told NPR that she was drawn to poetry at a young age due in part to a speech impediment. She said her struggle to speak proved to be a connection for her to Biden and even Angelou.

“Maya Angelou was mute growing up as a child and she grew up to deliver the inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton,” Gorman said. “So I think there is a real history of orators who have had to struggle with a type of imposed voicelessness, you know, having that stage in the inauguration.”

Gorman’s task was not an easy one: acknowledging the nation’s history and present while dreaming of a better future. To that end, she opened her poem boldly.

“When day comes we ask ourselves, ‘where can we find light in this never-ending shade?'” she said. “We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny, Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.”

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Laura Kuennsberg sounds UK-US warning – Boris hoping for 'dependable friend'

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BBC Laura Kuenssberg has explained Boris Johnson is hoping to find a “dependable friend” in Joe Biden as he officially became the US President on Wednesday.

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