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EU says Harley-Davidson move a natural ‘consequence’ of Trump’s tariffs

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The EU’s top trade official on Tuesday said the decision of Harley-Davidson to shift some manufacturing of its iconic motorcycles overseas, which President Donald Trump criticised, was a natural consequence of a protectionist US trade policy.

“We don’t want to punish, but that is the unfortunate consequence, that (US companies) will put pressure on the American administration to say hey, hold on a minute, this is not good for the American economy,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news briefing.

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Malmstrom spoke just hours after the announcement by the company founded in the early 1900s, which is also suffering under higher steel costs following tariffs enacted by US President Donald Trump.

The European counter-measures to Trump’s 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminium did not specifically target companies, but some sectors were chosen by Brussels for their symbolism.

In the early days of his administration Trump had embraced Harley-Davidson, which sells about 40,000 motorcycles a year in Europe, as an emblematic US industrial firm.

“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag,” the president tweeted on Monday.

Trump has also threatened fresh tariffs on European auto imports, which would especially punish Germany, home of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler.

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Fire holds off Hong Kong police at campus as democracy protests escalate

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A large fire held off an apparent police advance on the Hong Kong campus where hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were holed up early Monday, hours after officers warned they may use "live rounds" if confronted by deadly weapons in a dangerous escalation of the near six-month crisis engulfing the city.

Protests have rocked the global financial hub since June, with many in the city of 7.5 million people venting fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule.

China has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate the dissent, and there have been concerns that Beijing could send in troops to put an end to the spiralling unrest.

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Ambassador Sondland was updating Trump officials on progress of ‘push for investigations’ — including Mulvaney

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The Wall Street Journal obtained emails showing that ahead of President Donald Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ambassador Gordon Sondland was updating officials on the strive for investigations.

Chief of staff and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was one of the main points of contact, and he replied to the email saying he would schedule the call with Zelensky.

“I talked to Zelensky just now. He is prepared to receive Potus’ call. Will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone,’” Sondland wrote in an email on July 19.

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White House desperately scheduling things for Trump to do so he won’t watch the impeachment hearings

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Given President Donald Trump worked to intimidate witnesses in real-time during the hearings on the impeachment inquiry last week, the White House is desperately searching for something that can keep him busy.

Axios reported Sunday, the presidential daily schedule will be designed to keep the president distracted with their own counter-programming.

"Trump's schedule for the coming week shows him governing," Axios reported. He'll be promoting jobs and talking about things like "art and culture."

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