Tempe and Beyond: What’s Happening In Politics?
National/State/Local: Week of August 5, 2019
Provided by Dorn Policy Group, Inc.
President Donald Trump defended his confrontational stance in trade negotiations with China, insisting the eventual gains from an elusive agreement with the world’s second-largest economy will offset any short-term pain and stock market losses. Trump’s decision last week to impose a 10% tariff on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods beginning September 1st has whipsawed stocks in recent days.
Momentum for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would modernize the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with guidelines for digital trade, is rapidly growing. Last week, industry leaders gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for an event to discuss the importance of the USMCA and the path forward in Congress. They represented some of the 600 industry groups, agricultural associations, and local chambers who recently sent a letter to every member of Congress calling for USMCA’s ratification.
The President announced on Wednesday that South Korea “has agreed to pay substantially more money” to the U.S. government “to defend itself” from Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea, which harbors nuclear ambitions and has escalated regional tensions with a series of recent missile launches.
A bipartisan Arizona congressional delegation has written the Pentagon asking for more aerial refueling tankers at a Phoenix-based Air National Guard unit. A letter signed by Senators Sinema and McSally and eight of Arizona’s nine U.S. House members said the 161st Air Refueling Wing should get additional KC-135s because the demand for aerial refueling in the region is growing.
China announced this week it is no longer buying American crops and livestock after President Donald Trump’s recent tariff increases, and that has Arizona farmers and ranchers worried. Though China falls lower in the list of Arizona’s top export destinations – it’s among the top 15 – the state’s farmers and ranchers are concerned by China’s decision.
A new poll reveals Arizona voters would support a slight increase in an existing sales tax in order to fund K-12 education, but they want new funding tied to improved academic outcomes. Sales tax, as opposed to income or property tax, was chosen by nearly 45% of respondents.
Eurowings, a Lufthansa Group airline, has announced the start of new nonstop flights between Frankfurt, Germany and Phoenix Sky Harbor. Service on the Airbus 330-200 aircraft will being April 29, 2020, five days per week until November. Phoenix is one of the top growth areas in the Southwest, with a robust economy that has links to companies in Europe and beyond. The new Eurowings flights will definitely usher in a new era for both leisure and business travelers alike.
Reading the city budget just got a lot easier for residents. Tempe’s first Budget in Brief report is now available online at tempe.gov/budget. This new tool gives residents a clear, concise snapshot of essential elements in the FY 2019-2020 budget approved by the Tempe City Council last month.
Tempe is moving ahead with an ambitious Affordable Housing Strategy that seeks to boost housing options for people of all income levels and bring together partners to tackle an increasingly complex issue. The Tempe City Council, in unanimously approving the city’s AHS, is initially backing three aggressive efforts, including impact statements that will help the city better track new affordable housing units.
Arizona State University now ranks in the top 10 of all universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. Two years ago, the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Association listed ASU as 17th in the same report. Since then, ASU earned 130 U.S. patents to join the top tier alongside the University of California, Stanford, MIT and the University of Texas.