STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Republicans in key midterm races caution against Trump's new tariffs

President Donald Trump's decision to follow through on steel and aluminum tariffs against some of the United States' ...

Posted: May 31, 2018 6:27 PM
Updated: May 31, 2018 6:27 PM

President Donald Trump's decision to follow through on steel and aluminum tariffs against some of the United States' closest allies puts a series of vulnerable Republicans at considerable risk, leading some of those candidates to caution the President against following through with the trade talk.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters that a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union will take effect on Friday.

Mexico announced in a statement Thursday it would retaliate against the US by imposing "equivalent measures" on products such as "flat steel, lamps, pork and numerous produce items until the US eliminates the imposed tariffs."

Some Republicans are worried. Party operatives told CNN Thursday that they are fretting the ramifications of more trade talk, worried that those countries could respond by targeting key US exports, many of which come from districts that could decide the balance of the House in November.

"Trade is an area where President Trump's thinking and policy differs profoundly from most other Republicans," said longtime Republican operative Michael Steel.

"I think there are real worries that a trade war could undercut the strong impact tax reform has had on jobs and the economy, so you'll see Republicans across the country make it very, very clear that they support expanded American trade and the jobs that come with it - particularly in states and Congressional Districts that would be hardest hit."

Here's what two Republicans in those districts are saying:

  • Rep. David Valadao, who represents the agricultural heart of California: "Agriculture drives the American economy and is the backbone of the Central Valley's economy," Valadao said in response to Thursday's news. "Proposed tariffs seriously jeopardize our farmers' access to export markets, which account for roughly twenty percent of their production." (In an interview with CNN earlier this week, Valadao said farmers "would rather have no change than any change" and that Trump pushes "a little harder than what some people are comfortable with.")
  • Jim Hagedorn is of two Republicans running to represent Minnesota's 1st Congressional district, home to Martin County, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed "Bacon Capitol of the USA." He told CNN on Thursday, "I trust that President Trump and his trade negotiators understand the critical correlation between expanding global markets for US businesses, especially farmers agri-businesses, and a strong economy for those of us who reside in rural America."

Although tough talk on trade animated Trump's 2016 campaign, it has also been one area where Republicans, especially those with heavily agricultural states or districts, have broken with him.

  • "This is dumb," Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, an outspoken opponent to Trump's trade talk, bluntly said on Thursday. "We've been down this road before-blanket protectionism is a big part of why America had a Great Depression."

Those fears are both policy and politically focused, too. Republicans have maintained a dominance in rural America for years, but some top Republicans worry that making moves that hurt farmers and growers could have disastrous political implications for Republicans.

As CNN analyst Ron Brownstein wrote earlier this year, Trump's trade rhetoric "threatens to light a bonfire directly beneath the Republican Party's last firewall against potentially significant losses in the 2018 midterm elections."

West Lafayette
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Rensselaer
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Delphi
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events