China Trade War Kicks off: GOP Base Backs Trump’s Get-Tough Tariffs

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The U.S.-China trade war is set to dramatically escalate Friday as threatened higher tariffs go into effect, and President Trump is going into battle with virtually no support from the Republican Party establishment.

But that doesn’t mean Mr. Trump is fighting alone.

The president’s get-tough stance on China is bolstered by an electoral base that for years has been moving away from the GOP’s long-held free trade orthodoxy, according to conservative and business leaders who themselves oppose protectionist tariffs in trade disputes.

“We’ve recognized a lot of our own base — Republican primary voters, conservatives — they are not as favorable toward free trade anymore,” said …

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