President Trump’s aggressive trade policies could punish his most committed supporters, according to an updated analysis from the Brookings Institution.
The centrist, Washington-based think tank projects that more than 1 million jobs in over 2,600 counties across America that voted for Trump in 2016 could suffer in a trade war with China that began in earnest on Friday. Nearly 564,000 jobs in just under 500 counties that supported Democrat Hillary Clinton two years ago are threatened.
“The U.S. soybean industry’s worst fears are coming to pass today with the implementation of tariffs on Chinese imports,” the Iowa Soybean Association said in a statement. “This aggressive action positions Iowa and America’s soybean farmers directly in the crosshairs of a full-scale, multi-national trade war if China, as it has promised, imposes tariffs on U.S. soybean imports.”
Trump defeated Clinton in Iowa by close to 10 percentage points. Almost 51,000 jobs could be adversely impacted in the battleground state if Trump’s effort to negotiate more favorable trading terms with China spins out of control and results in a war of escalating tariffs on a broad range of exports from both countries.
Republicans in Congress have for months been concerned that they could pay the price for Trump’s trade policies in the midterm elections, fretting that a tit-for-tat tariff battle with Beijing will undercut a strong U.S. economy that in June produced 213,000 jobs and an significant uptick in the number of Americans who joined the labor force.
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