The Memo: Trump tariff move may pay dividends in 2020

TheHill | 3/5/2018 | Niall Stanage
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President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports horrify Republican leaders in Congress — but they could yet pay political dividends.

Trump’s move, cast by the White House as an effort to protect American manufacturing, has significant appeal in the Rust Belt states that were pivotal to his shock 2016 election win.

Democrats - Region - Worry - Figures - Party

Some Democrats in the region worry that senior figures in their party, especially those whose bases are in affluent coastal cities, are underestimating the political potency of Trump’s announcement.

“It worries me as a Democrat that the national Democrats don’t see that Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin were hurt badly by trade deals,” said David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party in Ohio.

Betras - County - Youngstown - Democrats - Audacity

Betras, whose county includes Youngstown, lamented that “national Democrats have the audacity to give the president **** on that, and they think it’s going to resonate.”

Trump’s victory came in large part because he demolished the “blue wall” comprised of three states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that had not backed a Republican for president since the 1980s.

Trump - Ohio - Battleground - State - President

Trump won Ohio, traditionally a closely fought battleground and a state President Obama carried twice, by 9 percentage points.

Some prominent Democrats from industrial states have backed Trump on the tariffs, including Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.) and Reps. Tim Ryan and Marcy Kaptur, both of Ohio.

Nation - Federation - Unions - AFL-CIO - Trump

The nation’s largest federation of unions, the AFL-CIO, also welcomed Trump’s proposal. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the tariffs on Twitter as “good steps towards fixing predatory practices that hurt workers & cheat companies that produce in US.”

Senior Republicans have been much more clear-cut in their opposition to Trump’s proposal. The possibility of the tariffs sparking a broader trade war is top of their list of concerns.

Aides - Speaker - Paul - Ryan - R-Wis

Aides to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took the unusual step of emailing reporters a CNBC story highlighting...
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