In his latest foreign policy announcements via Twitter, Donald Trump says he has raised tariffs on Turkey and threatened to do so on Canada.

Trump opened Friday with the economic punishment of Ankara:

Trump did not explain the “not good” relations, but tensions have been raised between the US and Turkey by the Erdoğan Government’s detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the government.

Trump tweeted two weeks ago:

Erdoğan and his officials repeatedly castigate the US for its refusal to extradite cleric Fetullah Gülen, whose followers they blame for a failed July 2016 coup.

The timing of Trump’s intervention may also have been influenced by Ankara’s weakening economic position. This week the Turkish lira has sunk to an all-time low against the US dollar, falling 17% on Friday.

American steel imports from Turkey had already fallen sharply, with only 4% of US purchases coming from Ankara in the first half of 2018 — a drop of almost 50% from last year.

Later in the day, Trump turned his attention to Canada, threatening more tariffs after the steel and aluminum duties imposed on Ottawa, Mexico, and the European Union at the end of May.

In an implicit refernce to his hostility towards Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump set out a different portrayal of the position with Mexico:

Trump turned against Trudeau after the G7 summit in Canada in June. Presenting the conference’s communiqué, Trudeau said that the Canadians would not bow down before the US steel and aluminum duties. Trump, who learned of the statement as he flew to Europe on Air Force One, refused American signature of the communiqué, and his officials said a “special section of hell” was reserved for the Prime Minister and other foreign leaders.


Administration Scraps Safeguards Over For-Profit Colleges

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reverses an Obama-era requirement that for-profit colleges must prove their students are able to attain decent-paying jobs.

The Education Department announced plans to eliminate the gainful employment rule, holding for-profit and career college programs accountable for graduating students who have poor job prospects and overwhelming debt. The regulation revokes federal funding and access to financial aid for poor-performing schools.

DeVos said instead that the Department will students with more data about all higher education institutions including debt, expected earnings after graduation, completion rates, program cost, accreditation, and other measures.

DeVos’ approach reverses almost a decade of efforts to create a system of accountability for the for-profit sector of higher education. In recent years, chains of colleges and universities have collapsed amid complaints and lawsuits over misleading and deceptive practices.

Since 2010, more than 2,000 for-profit and career programs — almost half of the total — have closed, with the sector’s student population dropping by more than 1.6 million.

The Obama Administration encouraged the expansion of public community colleges, and forgave at least $450 million in taxpayer-funded student debt for for-profit graduates who could not find decent jobs.

Several former for-profit executives are now advisor to DeVos.

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