Red-State Voters Are Starting to Panic Over Trump's New Tariffs

Donald Trump shocked economists and many inside his own administration when he ignored his economic advisors and went with a half-brained pitch from his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, to impose tariffs on steel. Experts warned it could set off a trade war and sure enough, China punched back:

China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a dispute between the world's biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

The tariffs, which take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China's finance ministry and matched a list of possible tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23.

Soon after the announcement, an editorial in the widely read Global Times newspaper warned that if the United States had thought China would not retaliate or would only take symbolic countermeasures, it could "say goodbye to that delusion".

What does that mean for the United States? Bad news, especially in Trump’s solid red rural base. More from the Washington Post:

The Brookings data constitute a granular geographic look at what Trump’s trade war with China might mean. It breaks down the numbers of jobs in the seven industries producing the products targeted by China’s retaliatory actions, which include fresh and dried fruit and nut farming, stainless steel pipes, pork products, modified ethanol, scrap aluminum and wineries.

CNN’s Erin Burnett spoke to a farmer who said if Trump didn’t reverse the tariff decision, he’d be voting differently in the future:

Iowa isn’t the only state that will be hard hit by Trump’s trade war. As noted in the Washington Post, the impact will be felt in rural communities nationwide.

Muro noted that the job concentrations in California are fruits, vegetables and wineries. The concentrations in the Northwest are tree crops. The concentrations in the Midwest are pipe producers. The concentrations in the South are mostly dried food and scrap aluminum. And the concentrations in the Plains are made up of some agriculture and hog and pig producers. Taken together, the concentrations constitute “an often rural map,” Muro said.

If you thought Trump voters had “economic anxiety” before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.