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Larry Kudlow, the new White House economic adviser, talks to reporters on a day when he also hit CNBC, Fox News and Fox Business. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

"The impact of retaliation by China could drown out the GOP message that tax cuts are delivering prosperity, which the party is counting on to save their majorities in the House and Senate," per Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur.

The bottom line: China's threats of retaliation are scaring farmers in the GOP's rural base and across Trump country, creating a potential drag for Republicans in November's midterms.

Per Bloomberg's Josh Green:

  • "Trump won eight of the 10 states with the largest soybean acreage, all of them in the Midwest."
  • "Many of those same states are now host to some of the country’s closest races for Senate (Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota) and governor (Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota)."

An exception ... The WashPost's Erica Werner writes from Akron that Ohio workers love the tariffs despite their potential effect on statewide politics:

  • "Although few argue that Ohio’s steel production industry can be restored to its glory days, steelworkers here hold out optimism that some idled facilities could be restarted and some jobs brought back."

But there are signs of a pullback, according to the NYT's Ana Swanson and Keith Bradsher. "White House Edges Back From Brink of Trade War: Hints That Tariffs on China May Never Go Into Effect":

  • "It remains unclear whether China will bend to the pressure and make significant changes to its economy — or whether the White House strategy will instead tip the two nations into a trade war that could harm both countries."
  • "Producers of American goods like soybeans, pork, [airplanes,] automobiles and semiconductors depend on access to the Chinese market both for exports and production and say they are fearful about a conflict."

Go deeper

The risks and rewards of charging state-backed hackers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last week’s stunning indictment of three North Korean hackers laid bare both the advantages and drawbacks of the U.S. government’s evolving strategy of using high-profile prosecutions to publicize hostile nation-state cyber activities.

Why it matters: Criminal charges can help the U.S. establish clear norms in a murky and rapidly changing environment, but they may not deter future bad behavior and could even invite retaliation against U.S. intelligence officials.

30 mins ago - World

Scoop: Netanyahu asked Biden to keep Trump's sanctions on International Criminal Court

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Photo: Bas Czerwinski/ANP/AFP via Getty

Netanyahu asked Biden in their first phone call last week to keep sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in place, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli officials are concerned that removing the sanctions would hamper Israel's efforts to stop a potential war crimes investigation into Israel, and that the court's prosecutor could see it as a signal that the U.S. isn't firmly opposed to that investigation.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is safe and effective

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration's staff released a briefing document on Wednesday endorsing Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine as safe and effective.

The latest: Assuming the FDA issues an emergency use authorization "without delay," meaning as soon as this weekend, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.