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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

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Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.