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Trump Meets Sebastian Kurz

In regards to auto tariffs, Trump said "The EU has been very difficult for many many years. We are negotiating with them and if we don't make a deal we will do the tariffs."

Make Austria Great Again

A year ago DW penned Make Austria Great Again — The Rapid Rise of Sebastian Kurz

Sebastian Kurz is having a moment. On Thursday he was the star speaker at the EU's most prominent conference of conservatives, and next week he is to be the guest of honor at a lunch held by controversial US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who has described the 31-year-old [now 32] chancellor as a "rock star." And just yesterday, he hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin on his first trip to west since winning reelection in March.

When a new wave of refugees seeking to relocate to Europe became a continent-wide concern in 2015, Kurz recognized Austrian voters' anxiety over unchecked immigration. He called for tougher external border controls, better integration and stringent control of "political Islam" funded from abroad. He also organized the shutdown of the popular overland route through the West Balkans.

After only a few months in office, Kurz has proven his mettle as an arch-conservative. While he may support Austria remaining in the European Union, he has already marked out a path as an immigration hardliner. Most recently, he said he would actively seek a mandate for the EU's border patrol agency Frontex to expand its work to northern Africa, in order to stop migratns attempting the Mediterranean crossing in the first place.

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The government is also planning a slew of tougher immigration measures, including curbs on headscarves for girls, a drastic cut in the integration budget, as well as new measures that would force asylum seekers to had over their phones and large amounts of cash in order to be processed.

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Trump's Strategy

Trump's strategy is once again easy to spot.

Trump openly embraces anyone and everyone who challenges the EU establishment.

As noted in Raw Politics: Hungary Prime Minister Attacks Juncker and Soros in Billboard Ad the EU is splintering from within, and Trump is doing his best to help.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock