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Apr 24, 9:42 PM EDT

The Latest: Trump threatens tariff on Canadian lumber

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EDT):

9:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling reporters he'll slap a 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada.

The president made the comments during a gathering with conservative media outlets at the White House Monday evening.

The comments were relayed by four people who were in the room and confirmed by an administration official. One person in the room said Trump threatened that dairy products could be next.

Trump has been railing against a change in Canada that resulted in a drop in the price of ultra-filtered milk. Trump says that's harming U.S. producers in dairy states like Wisconsin and New York.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says in a statement that it has been "a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations."


9 p.m.

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at boosting the agriculture industry.

The order will establish a task force to review policies, legislation and regulations "that unnecessarily hinder economic growth in the agriculture sector."

That's according to Ray Starling, special assistant to the president on the issue.

The administration officials who make up the task force will have 180 days to offer their recommendations.

They'll be asked to consider issues ranging from improving the quality of life in rural areas to potential changes to the estate tax.

Trump will meet with a group of farmers Tuesday after former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is sworn in as agriculture secretary.


8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump appears to be backing off his demand that funding for his Southern border wall be included in a bill to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week.

Trump told a gathering of around 20 conservative media reporters Monday evening that he would be willing to return to the funding issue in September.

That's according to two people who were in the room.

The government will run out of money this coming Saturday unless lawmakers pass legislation financing federal agencies.


5:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Wednesday instructing the Interior Department to review national monument designations made over the past two decades, an action that could upend protections put in place in Utah and other states where officials have objected to federal safeguards.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the president to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value to be "national monuments" and restrict how the lands can be used.

President Barack Obama infuriated Utah Republicans when he created the Bears Ears National Monument in December on more than 1 million acres of land that's sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites.

Republicans have asked Trump to reverse the designation, saying it will close the area to new energy development.


4:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday aimed at expanding offshore drilling.

The order will direct a review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration. It will also order a review of certain regulations governing offshore operations.

That's according to a White House official who shared details on condition of anonymity despite the president's criticism of the use of unnamed sources.

The White House says past administrations have been overly restrictive of offshore drilling.

Opponents say the practice puts oceans and wildlife at risk.


3:30 p.m.

The entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House Wednesday for a briefing on the escalating situation with North Korea.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the briefing will be delivered by four top administration officials: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.

The Trump administration has escalated its rhetoric against North Korea and has been pressuring China to lean on the country to cease its missile testing. Trump's U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday that the United States could strike North Korea if North Korea attacks a U.S. military base or tests an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Spicer said the White House was playing host but not organizing the briefing.


1:07 p.m.

There was a bit of awkwardness at President Donald Trump's lunch with U.N. diplomats when he made an undiplomatic comment about Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the U.N.

Trump was kicking off Monday's lunch with ambassadors of countries on the U.N. Security Council when he asked the room if they liked Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Trump said that if they didn't, "she could easily be replaced."

The comment sparked some awkwardness, but seemed to be taken in jest. Haley and others gathered around the lengthy table laughed.

Trump quickly assured Haley her job was safe. "I promise, we don't do that," Trump said, and praised Haley for doing a "fantastic job."

Haley has been one of the Trump administration's most vocal members, taking a tough line on Russia and Syria and telling North Korea not to give the U.S. "a reason" to fight.


12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for "big reforms" to the United Nations and criticizing its handling of recent events in Syria and North Korea.

Trump is meeting with ambassadors of countries on the U.N. Security Council at the White House.

He says he's long considered the organization an "underperformer." But he says he also thinks it has "tremendous potential."

He says, "You just don't see the United Nations, like, solving conflicts. I think that's going to start happening now."

Trump is calling the organization's response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria a "great disappointment." And he says the council should be prepared to impose additional sanctions on North Korea.

He adds that the country is "a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not."


10:25 a.m.

Congress' two top Democrats say negotiators could finish a budget bill by Friday averting a government shutdown if President Donald Trump stepped back from his demands for money to build a border wall with Mexico.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Monday conference call with reporters that Trump is risking a federal shutdown "by shoving this wall down Congress' and the American people's throats."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump's campaign promise to build the wall didn't include paying for it by taking "food out of the mouths of babies" and cutting other programs.

The two leaders' call came during the week leading up to next weekend's 100th day of Trump's presidency. They say the period has been marked by Trump's broken promises to help working-class Americans.


9 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that a border wall with Mexico would be an "important tool" for stopping the flow of drugs into the United States.

Trump tweeted Monday that, "the Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!"

Trump approaches the symbolic 100-day mark for his administration this week, renewing his demands that a must-pass government funding bill should include money for the wall.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump jabbed at Democrats, who vigorously oppose wall funding.

He said, "the Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members."


7:45 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump has thrown "a monkey wrench" into congressional talks on a catch-all spending bill with his insistence that the measure includes startup money for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Schumer tells MSNBC "this wall is un-thought-out and doesn't work." He says Trump's attitude toward bargaining over a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown later this week "can't be my way or the highway."

The New York Democrat says he speaks with Trump occasionally and said that "my advice to the president is to start keeping some of your promises."

Schumer asserted that Trump "seems to be in a little bubble with some very, very rich people."

Speaking of the president's promise of a major tax overhaul effort, Schumer says, "If the vast majority of his tax cuts are going to go to the wealthy, he won't be able to work with us."


3:15 a.m.

With a budget deadline looming, President Donald Trump plans a whirlwind of activities seeking to highlight accomplishments while putting fresh pressure on congressional Democrats to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, even if that pressure risks a possible government shutdown.

Trump approaches the symbolic 100-day mark for his administration this coming week juggling a renewed health care push and his demands that a must-pass government funding bill should include money for the wall.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump jabbed at Democrats, who vigorously oppose wall funding. "The Democrats don't want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members."

He added: "Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall."

The 100-day mark falls on Saturday, the same day government could shut down without a budget deal. Trump has announced a rally in Pennsylvania that day.

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