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President Trump reassured his farm voters in a pair of Wednesday tweets from Brussels, saying he is "fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"

"I am in Brussels, but always thinking about our farmers. Soy beans fell 50% from 2012 to my election. Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open ... things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"
— President Trump

Why it matters: Economists predict that soybean farmers are going to be among those hit hardest by China's retaliatory tariffs in Trump's trade war.

Between the lines: Trump's right that the price of soybeans has been steadily falling since 2012. But inviting Chinese retaliation against soybeans is inciting fear among farmers who rely on China's massive market — which bought a third of American soybeans last year.

  • China is aware of the sensitive political impact of retaliating against soybean farmers. Soybean-producing counties voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.

Be smart: China has a huge demand for U.S. soybeans — both for cooking oil and as animal feed — and won't be able to bolster its growing capabilities or find a new supplier anytime soon.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."