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Sens. John Cornyn and Mitch McConnelll look on as President Trump speaks. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Republican senators are extremely worried about Trump’s protectionist moves on trade. Specifically, senators who represent farm states are furious about Trump’s threats of tariffs — and the responding Chinese threats to crops like soybeans — are already driving down crop prices. 

Why it matters: Little by little, Senate Republicans are souring on Trump publicly, dissing his trade moves, his Mueller threats and constant drama. 

GOP senators are asking: “What are we going to do if crop prices collapse?”

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is hopping mad about this. He got up and delivered a “stemwinder” in the words of one source. (Though another source cautioned that most of Roberts’ speeches are dramatic.)

Mitch McConnell encouraged the senators to call Trump. One source told me:

“He said, ‘look if you want to have an impact on this call the president. Talk to him about it. Express your concerns.'"

But some of these red state senators who represent farmers — think Iowans, Kansans, and Nebraskans — have already called the White House with their concerns. And based on the conversation at the Senate lunch, these GOP senators are not feeling comforted by the response.

What the free-traders in the White House hope:

  • They are banking on Trump cutting a deal with the Chinese before the tariffs go into effect.
  • Some expect the rhetoric will get even hotter in the short-term, but Xi has started to build an exit ramp for Trump to claim victory on a few things (Eg lower tariffs on American cars) and move on.
  • The free-traders hope Xi will be smart and give Trump enough “wins” to take a and public relations lap and break the cycle of escalating tariffs.
  • Republican Senators are also increasingly optimistic that the Trump administration is close to finalizing a NAFTA deal.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."