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Is U.S. President Donald Trump's pitch to disgruntled manufacturing workers a leading political indicator, portending future trends, or a lagging one, appealing to a small and declining segment of the public?Trump's adversaries are some of the GOP's most influential voices.With the tariff fight, Trump and his critics are battling over an issue that, for more than a century, has helped shape the soul of the Republican Party.How large and potent is Trump's base on trade?A study released last week by the Peterson Institute for International Economics argues that if Trump moved to the next stage in his trade war and levied a 25 percent duty on imports of automobiles, trucks and SUVs, the U.S. could lose 195,000 total jobs and 1.5 percent of the output of its auto and parts industries.The Democrats need to find their voice on tariffs, too – and start crafting a trade policy that's about the future, not the past.
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