Politics with Jennifer Brooks

Tariff blow-back could hurt Minn. farmers

Good morning!

Jim Spencer writes that economists warn that President Trump’s tariffs on China -- and that country’s retaliation -- could boost other countries at the expense of the U.S. That’s especially true in Minnesota’s sizable soybean industry. “If the Chinese proceed with a threatened 25 percent import tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for 25 percent protective tariffs Trump placed on a variety of nonagricultural Chinese products, Minnesota soybean growers and others across the country face a loss of 69 percent of Chinese sales, said Purdue University agricultural economist Wallace Tyner, who analyzed data for the U.S. Soybean Export Council,” according to Spencer.

The House passed a farm bill yesterday with the same controversial expansion of work requirements for food stamp recipients, after the legislation failed last month. “House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) told reporters afterward that he knew all along the vote was going to be ‘razor thin’ and continued to lobby members to support the bill up until the last minute.” But this likely won’t mean much, given that Senate ag leaders oppose the food stamp changes (along with House Ag Committee Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson).

Patrick Coolican reports that nine Minnesota businesses are suing the U.S. Department of Interior, claiming irreparable harm from the agency’s move to reinstate two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. “My clients would be repelled by water and noise pollution and other harm to the Boundary Waters,” said Steve Piragis, co-owner of Piragis Northwoods Co. in Ely, in a statement released by the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

Immigration enforcement on the US.-Mexico border grows chaotic following President Trump’s reversal of a policy separating immigrant children from their parents. Speaking of which, state Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign manager sent out yet another email on her bid for Congressman Keith Ellison’s seat, noting that she spent World Refugee Day in D.C. talking to lawmakers about immigration issues.

The House Budget Committee, including U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, yesterday passed a budget blueprint that calls for congressional committees to cut more than $300 billion over the next decade; it would make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and slow defense spending.

Some DFL labor endorsements yesterday: the Minnesota AFL-CIO for Dan Feehan in CD1, UFCW Local 1189 for Ellison in the attorney general’s race, and Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council for U.S. Sen. Tina Smith.

Politico Mag has an amusing story called “Young Trumpies hit D.C.” It describes the laments of being a young Trump supporter in the nation’s capital: “They told us their horror stories about being heckled on the street and their struggles to get a date. … ‘Thank God I’ve had a girlfriend of three years,” [one former White House aide] says, ‘because the last person I would want to be is a single Trump supporter dating in D.C. right now.’”

Have a great weekend, everyone!

-- Maya Rao

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