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Trump's trade war: Where American workers are hit hardest

The latest escalation in President Trump's trade war will expose to tariffs roughly 11 million U.S. workers who are employed in industries that produce targeted goods.

Why it matters: Industries affected by the brinksmanship are mostly concentrated in rural, deeply red, already-struggling parts of the country, with political consequences for Trump and Republicans in 2020.

Explanation of the map: The map tracks the geographical impact of both current and threatened retaliation. The darker a county, the higher the concentration of affected industries there.

Driving the news: U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports are about to rise from 10% to 25% — an escalation of the trade war that could hurt major importers and trigger even more painful retaliation by China.

  • Employment in rural and low-population counties can be exceptionally vulnerable to gyrations in the global economy, said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "In a small county, a single meat packing establishment can provide hundreds of jobs and make up a large share of that county's total employment," he told Axios in September. A prior report by Muro and others at Brookings inspired this analysis.

Methodology: We calculated the concentration of industries in each county compared with the national average. To get there, we gathered lists of goods facing tariffs from Canada, China, Mexico, and the European Union. The data is from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Quarterly Census of Employment Wages.

Original story: 11 million U.S. workers are in the trade war's crosshairs