clock menu more-arrow no yes

Vox Sentences: Under Trump, your imported washing machine will take you to the cleaners

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Trump raises tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines; ISIS carries out a brutal attack in Afghanistan.


Trump: no imported washing machine is safe from taxes

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
  • Earlier this week, President Donald Trump slapped a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and modules, as well as a 20 percent tariff on imported washing machines, which will increase to 50 percent after the first 1.2 million models are sold. [NPR / Richard Gonzales]
  • Trump made the move in the name of creating more US jobs and boosting US manufacturers, but many economists and people in the industry are worried the move will have more negative consequences. [WSJ / Erin Ailworth and Andrew Tangel]
  • This happened because some US solar manufacturers and washing machine companies wanted it; some solar manufacturers had complained that China was heavily subsidizing its own companies, creating unfair competition. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • But the decision will have negative consequences for another important part of the solar industry: people who install solar panels. That’s on track to become one of the fastest-growing jobs in the US, in part because foreign panels are cheap. [Slate / Neel Patel]
  • So this could actually kill jobs. There are also fears Trump’s decision will hurt the solar industry and renewable energy growth. Solar is currently the fastest-growing source of new energy. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • This is a big trade move; it’s the first significant trade action the president has taken since Trump threatened to pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) unless Canada and Mexico make significant trade concessions. [Washington Post / David Lynch]
  • Similarly, domestic washing machine companies like Whirlpool are celebrating the news of the tariff, but foreign companies like LG and Samsung are not. Neither are consumers in the market for a new washing machine, who will see costs rise. [CNBC / Thomas Franck]

Terror groups ramp up attacks in Afghanistan

  • The UK aid group Save the Children is the latest victim of ISIS terror in Afghanistan, after three staffers were killed and four more injured in an attack in Jalalabad. [NPR / Bill Chappell and Scott Neuman]
  • Save the Children has temporarily stopped operations in Afghanistan after the attack happened, but plans to continue its work. [NYT / Zabihullah Ghazi and Mujib Mashal]
  • Five attackers who carried out the brutal shooting and bombing were killed by police. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the incident. [BBC]
  • There has been a spate of terror attacks in Afghanistan in recent days; four Americans were killed and two were wounded in a weekend attack on a Kabul hotel by the Taliban. [Associated Press / Josh Lederman]

Miscellaneous

  • A very strange scandal is rocking the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia: Some of the camels were found to have been injected with Botox to make their lips look plumper. [Hollywood Reporter / Sam Reed]
  • Everything old is new again: John Kerry is reportedly considering a 2020 presidential bid. [NY Daily News / Elizabeth Elizalde]
  • In China, the demand for designer labels and extremely high-end cosmetics is thriving. Blame the millennials. [Reuters / Adam Jourdan]
  • There’s a fitness revolution happening, and it’s likely on your wrist (if you own an Apple Watch or Fitbit ... or really any other fitness tracker). [The Verge / Elizabeth LoPatto]

Verbatim

“It’s beautiful and it’s quite heady — you have to get fresh air every so often because it is a narcotic in big quantities.” [Geophysicist David Smale on the spice saffron and its ... alternative uses, to the Atlantic / Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley]


Watch this: The awkward debate around Trump’s mental fitness

The rule that keeps psychiatrists from talking about Trump. [YouTube / Carlos Maza and Coleman Lowndes]


Read more

The “Hastert Rule,” the reason a DACA deal could fail in the House, explained

Garrison Keillor says he was fired for touching a woman’s back. His old bosses say otherwise.

A lunar eclipse is coming January 31. Here’s how to watch the moon turn blood red in the sky.

Mueller’s obstruction of justice case against Trump looks damning

A publisher asked Ursula Le Guin to blurb an anthology with no women writers. Her response is excellent.

Correction: A previous version of this article said Trump pulled the US out of NAFTA. The president has threatened to pull the US out of NAFTA, but negotiations with Canada and Mexico are ongoing.

Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.