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Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Photo: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

Feeling the effects of the Trump administration's trade war with China, some states and cities are stepping in to build their own relationships.

Why it matters: Mayors and governors are hearing directly from farmers and business owners concerned that the trade war will permanently cut off access to the Chinese market.

  • "People are scared about their livelihoods and job opportunities going somewhere else," said Bob Holden, CEO of the U.S. Heartland China Association and former governor of Missouri. "I see now a paranoia in our culture that we've lost control."

In the midwest, farmers are feeling the squeeze from the tariffs as China looks elsewhere for goods.

  • The Trump administration last week announced a $16 billion aid package for soybean, corn, barley, wheat, cotton, dairy and hog farmers hurt by the trade war.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown said China is the state's biggest trading partner and both farmers and businesses have been hurt by tariffs. The frozen potato industry lost $20 million last year, for example.

  • Brown is encouraging Oregon's universities to continue to open doors to Chinese students, and for programs to let American students travel to China — so each country can have a better understanding of the other. Public schools offer Mandarin immersion programs.
  • She acknowledged those efforts won't address tariffs. "But if I can't impact that, I'm going to focus on long-term investments."

Chinese trade accounts for 60% of business at the Port of Los Angeles, and the city is the most visited U.S. destination for Chinese tourists. Both areas have seen declines in the past year, said Amb. Nina Hachigian, L.A.'s Deputy Mayor of International Affairs.

  • L.A. is one of the country's most diverse cities and has more resources than most to forge its own global relationships.
"The trade situation is forcing partners to look for someone to talk to the way they used to talk to Washington. If you want to create jobs in your city, you need to be internationally engaged."
— Hachigian, speaking at Brookings Institution event this week

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker