Axios

Chinese Retaliatory Tariffs ‘Shrewdly’ Designed to Hurt Rural America

Axios has posted an interactive map that shows the localized effects of  Chinese retaliatory tariffs if President Trump acts on his threat to impose another $200 billion on tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States.

Axios has posted an interactive map that shows the localized effects of  Chinese retaliatory tariffs if President Trump acts on his threat to impose another $200 billion on tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States.

 

Axios.com has posted a story with an interactive map showing areas of the country destined to feel the greatest pain from retaliatory tariffs spurred by President Trump’s trade policies.

“Industries affected by the brinksmanship are mostly concentrated in rural, deeply red, already-struggling parts of the country, with political consequences for Trump and Republicans in 2018 and beyond,” according to the Axios analysis. 

The analysis drew on data from the Brookings Institution, US Chamber of Commerce, US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Axios posted the map after a public comment period ended last week on Trump’s threat to quadruple tariffs on Chinese goods to $200 billion. China has said it will retaliate with $60 billion in tariffs on US exports.

“That's on top of 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs enacted, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, China, Mexico and the European Union, and by those countries against the United States,” Axios reported.

US farmers, manufacturers and consumer groups have been bracing for the blowback. The Axios map helps to localize where the most severe impact could be felt. For example, it identifies six industries in Douglas County that would be affected by retaliatory tariffs, which is 95 times more concentrated impact than the the national average. The map identifies 35 affected industries in Clackamas County.

“Employment in rural and low-population counties can be exceptionally vulnerable to gyrations in the global economy,” Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, tells Axios. "In a small county, a single meatpacking establishment can provide hundreds of jobs and make up a large share of that county's total employment.”

Muro  and a colleague wrote a previous report anticipating the impact of retaliatory Chinese tariffs with this observation: “Trade diplomacy can often seem an international and faraway activity. However, when it comes down to specific lists of tariffs on particular products that Americans produce, from ginseng to airplanes, the high-level posturing of Washington and Beijing suddenly gets more real.”

He added: “Our top line estimates suggest while the total number of jobs potentially disrupted by an all-out trade war remains modest, the count encompasses a diverse and shrewdly chosen ‘hit list’ of hallmark American industries – one that appears well-calculated to scare both red and blue America.”

Trump has assured his supporters, especially in the Farm Belt, his take-no-prisoners approach to international trade can produce positive results for US workers, businesses and farmers. In response to immediate-term impacts on soybean growers and other farm interests, Trump proposed a one-time $4.2 billion subsidy. It has met with opposition and disappointment by congressional Republicans and recipients of the aid.

 

Poll Shows Polarization Affects Brand, Media Views

Recent polling reveals political polarization has spilled over into net brand favorability ratings, with sharply disparate views of everything from Trump Hotels to the NFL to Starbucks. Some of the most notable partisan differences are on media outlets.

Recent polling reveals political polarization has spilled over into net brand favorability ratings, with sharply disparate views of everything from Trump Hotels to the NFL to Starbucks. Some of the most notable partisan differences are on media outlets.

Voters in America are polarized and that polarization has spilled over onto brand favorability, according to Axios.

Brands such as the NFL, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Trump Hotels are viewed differently through a polarized lens. Some of the most disparate political favorability ratings attach to media companies.

“The only media outlets preferred by Republicans over Democrats are Fox, Fox Business and Breitbart,” Axios reported. “Most entertainment outlets listed, like Comedy Central, HBO and MTV, are much more widely favored by Democrats.”

The net brand favorability gaps between partisans are based on polling by Morning Consult of adults taken from last October through January 2018.

Not surprisingly, the largest gap is for Trump Hotels, with Democrats and Republicans split on their views by 80 percentage points. Democrats give Trump Hotels nearly a 50-point negative rating.

CNN has the second largest gap, with Republicans giving it a negative favorability rating of 15 percent while Democrats rate it favorably at more than 50 percent.

The gaps are significant, but it is equally interesting to note that only 11 of the 30 brands have any negative rating, and most of those are relatively minor.

For example, Starbucks, which has provoked conservative angst, enjoys a nearly 50 percent favorability rating by Democrats and a 25 percent rating by Republicans.  Cabelas, known for selling guns, has a better than 50 percent favorability rating by Republicans and around 30 percent by Democrats. Chick-fil-A, which has faced pushback from LBGTQ advocates, enjoys a Republican favorability rating around 60 percent and a Democratic favorability rating of 30 percent.

While there are stark differences of opinion about well known media brands, overall the ratings are favorable, even for Fox News. Republicans give it more than a 50 percent favorability rating, but Democrats are basically neutral on the network.  The New York Times, which is frequently targeted in Trump tweets, received a 50+ percent favorability rating from Democrats and a slightly positive rating from Republicans.

The biggest negative ratings from Democrats, in order, were for Trump Hotels (40+ percent), Breitbart (20+ percent), Halliburton (15 percent) and Koch Industries (10+ percent). The biggest negative ratings from Republicans, also in order, were for CNN (15 percent) and the NFL (12 percent). The Washington Post, HuffPost, MSNBC and BET had negative ratings of 5 percent or less from Republicans.

 

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