April 21, 2017
(Reuters) – Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday:
South Korea says it is on heightened alert ahead of another important anniversary in North Korea, with a large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border amid concerns about a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Syria has dispersed its warplanes in recent days and that it retains chemical weapons, an issue he says will have to be taken up diplomatically.
The Treasury Department will not give permission to American companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp, to drill for oil in areas prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says.
Trump and his fellow Republicans who control Congress face their first major budget test next week, with the threat of a government shutdown potentially hinging on his proposed Mexican border wall as well as Obamacare funding.
The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, says it has invited the directors of the FBI and the National Security Agency to appear at a closed hearing on May 2.
Trump will order the Treasury Department on Friday to examine two powers given to regulators after the 2008 financial crisis to police large financial firms, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says.
Trump on Friday will order the Treasury Department to review Obama-era rules written to discourage U.S. companies from moving their headquarters overseas to cut their tax bills, Mnuchin says.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres meets with Trump at the White House for the first time since both took office earlier this year and amid a U.S. push to cut funding to the world body and its agencies.
FREED CHARITY WORKER
Trump welcomes home an Egyptian-American charity worker whose release from jail in Egypt was sought by Trump when he met Egypt’s president early this month.
Trump’s first shot across China’s bow over its steel exports escalates a years-long brawl over trade between the world’s top two economies.
South Korea plans to raise the issue of U.S. restrictions on steel imports at World Trade Organization committee meetings next week, its trade ministry says.
Germany’s finance minister is optimistic about reaching a “non-confrontational solution” on trade with Trump’s administration at a summit this summer, he says after meeting his U.S. counterpart in Washington.
(Compiled by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Andrew Hay and Tom Brown)