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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although soybeans — which are almost exclusively produced by farmers in Trump country — have been a prime target for Chinese tariffs, the politically-charged debate in the president's escalating trade war has politicians from both parties making false assessments on the consequences soybeans farmers are currently facing, a Washington Post analysis found.

The big picture: Both a red-state Democrat and President Trump have tweeted false information on the heated matter. As the Post notes, "The agricultural commodities market is a complicated balance of supply and demand that politicians seem intent on glossing over."

The details: Vulnerable Democrats like Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is seeking re-election, argue that farmers are being badly hurt by the trade war. In a tweet her office later deleted, the senator cited a study saying the "U.S. have already lost $13 billion because of the administration’s trade war."

  • Further review by the Post found that the "$13 billion" reference was a quote from an economist who told the publication he reached that figure after calculating this year's estimated production by the change in daily prices. "That means his estimate changes every day," the Post noted.

The other side: President Trump claimed last month that the "European Union told me that they would start buying soybeans from our great farmers immediately," and that commodity prices were dropping before he took office.

  • However, the Post said there has been a recent drop in commodities, but soybean prices have not plunged "50% since 5 years before the Election," as the president claimed.

The bottom line: "Prices for agricultural products are shaped by a plethora of forces, including the number of plantings, global trends, weather and what happened the year before," the Post explains. And at the end of the day, facts are facts.

Go deeper: Soybeans are an unlikely political ground zero in Trump's trade war

Go deeper

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).