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A Potential Trade War May Hurt the Most Trump-Friendly Cities

January 30, 2017, 6:15 PM UTC

The U.S. communities that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election are likely to fare worse in a potential trade war than the areas that voted for Hillary Clinton, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The report, obtained by the Wall Street Journal, measured the “export intensity” of urban areas — or the local goods and service exports as a percentage of the local GDP in 2015 — to figure out which areas are most dependent on global economic access. Smaller cities in the Midwest and Southeast that voted Trump in 2016 were the most export intensive, according to the study.

The top five U.S. cities that depend the most on exports include Columbus, Ind.; Beaumont, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; Elkhart, Ind.; and Kokomo, Ind. Larger cities likely to be most affected in a trade war include Baton Rouge, La; Wichita, Kansas; New Orleans; Seattle; and Detroit, the report said.

Such communities have less flexibility to adapt to the effects of a trade war, Mark Muro, head of Brookings’ metropolitan policy program, told the Journal.


Trump has repeatedly promised to pull back on free trade, and signed an executive order on Jan. 23 to remove the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.