GOP Senate Candidates Pick Trump’s Team in Trade War — Leaving Behind Their Voters

“Republicans’ blind loyalty to Trump is directly harming farmers, workers, and small businesses across the country, and they’re fooling themselves if they think voters aren’t taking note,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Siding with Trump at the expense of their states will cost each and every single one of these Republicans come November.”

Washington Post: The Finance 202: Republican candidates in key Senate races struggle with Trump tariffs
By Tory Newmyer | July 5, 2018

  • “The imminent trade war and its tariffs on everything from soybeans to pork threatens to emerge as a critical issue in Senate battlegroundraces the GOP needs to protect its majority this fall.”
  • “Nowhere is the squeeze between Trump and his trade policies more evident than in North Dakota…’We’re not starting a trade war, but we’ll finish it,’ Trump said last week at a rally in Fargo, as…Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), looked on. The next day, in a local television interview, Cramer said that ‘people are with [Trump] and they want a better deal.’”
  • North Dakota farmers may see it differently.The Trump administration on Fridayis set to slap another $34 billion in duties on Chinese imports; Beijing says it will respond in kind, leveling the same amount in countervailing fees on U.S. goods including soybeans, North Dakota’s top export to the country.”
  • “The president ‘got elected in large part because people know that he’s a negotiator,’ Leah Vukmir, a Wisconsin state senator vying to take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), said in a local interview last month. ‘I am willing to give him the opportunity to create fairer deals for our country.’
  • But Trump’s trade policy has drawn criticism from other big Wisconsin players— including Gov.  Scott Walker (R), also up for reelection. Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson announced last week it would ship some production abroad …in response to new levies from the European Union, and otherbusinesses in the state, from cheese makers to cranberry growers, stand to get pinched, too.
  • In Missouri, Attorney General Josh Hawley, Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D) Republican competition, has said Trump is ‘on the right track’ and will deliver terms that justify the disruptions.”
  • “McCaskill has highlighted the plight of Mid Continent Nail Corp, a Poplar Bluff, Mo. nail manufacturer that last month laid off 60 workers due to rising metals prices.A Brookings Institute report pegged Missouri as the state that would suffer the most from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.
  • “Dialing up the pressure on Republican candidates, the Koch political network and other major corporate interests opposed to Trump’s trade push are coming off of the sidelines. Candidates ‘need to lead with courage and conviction rather than play political games,’says James Davis, executive vice president of the Koch-aligned Freedom Partners. ‘Trade barriers, such as tariffs, only make us poorer.’

Read the full article here.