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Farmers who propelled Trump to presidency fear becoming pawns in trade war

2018-04-09 09:59:01       source:The Washington Post

April 8, 2018

MANKATO, Minn. -- Many of the farmers who helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency fear becoming pawns in his escalating trade war with China, which threatens markets for soybeans, corn and other lifeblood crops in the Upper Midwest.

But Jim Hagedorn, a former GOP congressional aide and Treasury official running for an open House seat, says they should keep their faith in Trump.

“He understands just how important it is to these rural areas that we have these markets,” Hagedorn said in an interview at his campaign office. “Do I understand that the president has the prerogative to go out and negotiate? Of course I do. But I trust that in the end, he’s going to do everything possible to make sure that we help everyone in the United States, including our farmers.”

Trump’s aggressive attacks on China over trade are putting Republicans such as Hagedorn in a difficult spot — torn between siding with Trump and acknowledging the economic peril to many of their constituents. The issue presents yet another challenge to the GOP in a tough midterm election year even in the rural areas across the Upper Midwest that swept Trump to victory — and where control of the Senate could be decided.

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