Gage Skidmore / Flickr Donald Trump...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump’s initiation of a trade war with U.S. allies may not be getting as much cable news channel airtime as Roseanne or Russia, but it’s shaping up to be a big issue in some congressional campaigns. Retaliation against Trump’s tariffs will be hitting different states in different ways, and putting many Republicans into a difficult position: Do they stick with Dear Leader even if his actions stand to hurt some states’ economies in the process of violating Republican orthodoxy?

The politics are complicated. In some states, such as North Dakota, farmers could face problems:

“North Dakota farmers and ranchers know this new round of tariff threats would deal a devastating blow to our state’s ag economy and to their livelihood. But the louder their warnings have become, the more Congressman Kevin Cramer has belittled their concerns as nothing more than political ‘hysteria,’ championing the growing threat of a global trade war, instead,” said Heitkamp communications director Julia Krieger.

She said Cramer is “choosing partisan politics over North Dakota farmers and ranchers — they can count on him for one thing: To turn his back every time.”

In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson warned about the potential burden to consumers:

“Starting a trade war with our closest allies is the last thing we should be doing. No one wins in a trade war, especially hardworking families who may have to pay more for the goods they buy every day,” Nelson said.

“If this starts an international trade war,” he said, “Florida’s going to get hurt.”

It’s not just Democrats, though. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said he’s “worried” about the outcomes of Trump’s trade moves.

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