Highlights: The Trump presidency on March 31 at 12:10 p.m. EDT

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2017 12:15 PM

(Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Friday:

RUSSIA AND THE U.S. ELECTION

Trump expresses support for the decision by his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in congressional investigations of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

SUPREME COURT NOMINEE

Two Democratic senators voice opposition to Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, ahead of an expected contentious confirmation fight next week on the Senate floor.

CHINA

The Trump administration slams China on a range of trade issues from its chronic industrial overcapacity to forced technology transfers and longstanding bans on U.S. beef and electronic payment services. Beijing seeks to play down tensions with the United States and put on a positive face ahead of President Xi Jinping's first meeting with Trump next week.

TRADE

Trump will sign executive orders on Friday aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on nonpayment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports, his top trade officials say.

Germany urges the European Union to consider filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the United States over its plan to impose duties on imports of steel plate from five EU member states.

DEFENSE

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signals that Washington may soon decide how to respond to what it says are Russian violations of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, saying the United States is conferring with allies.

Germany says NATO's agreed target of spending 2 percent of members' yearly economic output is neither "reachable nor desirable," countering a call by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for all allies to comply and quickly.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Governments have created "worldwide momentum" to slow climate change despite threats by Trump to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations' climate chief says.

EGYPT

Trump will seek to rebuild the U.S. relationship with Egypt at a meeting on Monday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi focused on security issues and military aid, a senior White House official says. [L2N1H814B]

JORDAN

Trump will host Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House next week to discuss the fight against Islamic State militants, the Syria crisis and advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the White House says in a statement.

(Compiled by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)