Balance of Power: Bloomberg’s New Global Politics DailyBy and
Welcome to Balance of Power, Bloomberg's new daily newsletter on global politics. We took a hiatus after the U.S. presidential election and now aim to pull the lens back for a broader look at the people and the forces that shape our world. The stories here will take us from Washington to London to Beijing, and all points in between.
We hope you enjoy it.
-- John Fraher and Craig Gordon (executive editors of global and U.S. political coverage)
Trump Frets as 100-Day Mark Nears
Donald Trump seems worried about Saturday's First 100 Days milestone. But he may have a much bigger problem: Republicans don’t seem all that eager to hear what he thinks anymore.
Anxious to show results before a spate of less-than-flattering stories to mark the occasion, Trump called for a vote this week to repeal Obamacare. House Republicans all but ignored him. Today, Trump's team heads to Capitol Hill to sell his tax plan but Speaker Paul Ryan seems sure to resist because it’ll likely bust the budget.
Even Trump's beloved border wall is far less popular among Republicans who seem prepared to sacrifice it to avert a government shutdown.
It all leaves Trump searching for his next win, with no obvious victory on the horizon and his popularity at a record low. For Trump, that’s the real problem, a presidency struggling to find its footing as the calendar hits Day 101.
Elsewhere Around the Globe
French Presidential Countdown | Marine Le Pen started the second round by resigning as head of the National Front to run as a candidate of national unity. Meanwhile, front-runner Emmanuel Macron stumbled out of the gate. Critics accused him of looking complacent after he took a large entourage to a Parisian bistro once frequented by Ernest Hemingway after his first-round victory. Polls suggest he'll win on May 7 by about 20 percentage points, but the risk is that voters will be turned off by any sense that he now sees the election as a victory lap.
Trump Signals Shift on Wall Funding | Trump hinted he may be willing to wait a little longer to secure federal funding for his controversial border wall, a shift that could make it possible for Congress to finish work on spending legislation in time to avoid a government shutdown that would start Saturday.
U.S. Starts a Trade War -- With Canada | Turns out Trump's first trade war isn't with China or Mexico, but with Canada over the perennial issue of softwood lumber. Trump on Monday intensified the dispute by slapping tariffs of up to 24 percent on imported lumber. Canadian officials were quick to denounce the action and vowed to sue if needed.
The Brexit Divide Keeps Getting Wider | Theresa May's Conservatives are targeting pro-Brexit districts as they seek to boost their majority in the snap election on June 8. While a thumping victory is meant to strengthen May's hand in the coming Brexit talks, the EU-27 aren't standing idly by. According to a document obtained by Bloomberg News, they've toughened their negotiating stance on financial services and citizens' residency rights.
Merkel Seeks Trump Backchannel Via Ivanka | Angela Merkel will host Ivanka Trump in Berlin today on her first overseas trip as a presidential envoy. Having sparred with her father over trade, defense and the European Union's future, Merkel is hoping to build on a budding relationship with his daughter and use it to influence the president.
Turkey's Tired of Being Patronized | “The EU needs to sit down and make a decision” about Turkey's membership bid, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in an exclusive interview in Ankara. Speaking to Bloomberg's Riad Hamade, Yildirim said the EU needs to decide whether it’s open to non-Christian countries or not, because “there’s no point in both sides wasting time.”
And Finally... The chances of a Trump-like shock in France may have receded, but from the economically-depressed northeast to the Mediterranean coastline, there are deep divisions fueled by unemployment, anti-immigrant angst and fear of terrorism that won't go away.