President Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Wednesday that they will open negotiations to, as Trump put it, “work toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies,” and hold off on any further tariffs unless either side terminates the negotiations. This signals efforts to resume broad trade negotiations suspended since the Obama administration.
The trade war appears to be on hold, at least on the European front. However, importantly, Trump said the path toward “zero tariffs” applied to “all non-auto industrial goods.” Trump has been mulling auto tariffs that could hit EU countries like Germany hard. Juncker struck an optimistic tone, saying “I had the intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today.”
Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act
Congress passed a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act on Wednesday and sent it for signature to President Donald Trump, who has made career and technical education, or CTE, a priority for his administration.
The $1.1 billion program, which has been languishing since 2006, provides funding for job training and related programs for high school students, many of whom may be seeking postsecondary options other than a four-year college degree, as well as for students in higher education. The Senate bill to revamp Perkins was co-authored by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and is called the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The House, which passed its own version of a Perkins reauthorization last year, approved CTE reauthorization as amended by the Senate version. The legislation passed via voice vote.
Momentum behind the Perkins legislation has grown in recent weeks, after a lobbying effort by the Trump administration on Capitol Hill that included presidential senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who is Trump’s daughter. The legislation sailed through the Senate education committee last month and was lavished with praise by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Here are a few highlights of the legislation that we mentioned last month when the bill was introduced:
- The secretary of education would be barred from dictating states’ CTE assessments or standards. States would also set their own goals under the legislation.
- States would have to make “meaningful progress” toward meeting their own goals under the proposed bill.
- The legislation creates “core indicators” for the performance of students concentrating in CTE, including their graduation rate and the percentage who continue on to either postsecondary education or advanced training within a certain time frame.
- It also requires schools to align career and technical education programs with the needs of the state or local communities.