President Donald Trump may not want to make November’s midterm elections a referendum on tariffs.
Trump is deciding whether to slap duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods after a public comment period ended at midnight Thursday. He raised the stakes again Friday, saying he has tariffs “ready to go” on an additional $267 billion in Chinese products.
The actions would expand mounting trade conflicts with major partners that have prompted backlash from Republican lawmakers and sparked fears about slower growth and damage to American farmers. China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada have retaliated againstTrump’s previous trade barriers. Beijing already said it would respond in kind to any new U.S. tariffs.
A series of NBC News/Marist polls of six politically important states released in recent weeks highlight the potential political peril Trump faces if the trade war with China affects a larger swath of the economy. Pluralities of registered voters in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas believe tariffs will damage the U.S. economy.