Every president’s election-year nightmare — a recession — is suddenly looming over the 2020 race. In a survey released earlier this week by the National Association of Business Economics, 38 percent of economists predicted that the country will slip into an economic downturn next year, and another recent poll of economists put the chances of a recession in the next 12 months at 1 in 3. Those predictions are getting a lot of attention, and it’s not hard to see why — an economic slowdown in the middle of the presidential election cycle could reshape the race, potentially changing the calculus of Democratic primary voters and undermining President Trump, who has made the strong economy a central selling point of his presidency.
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Why couldn’t we all just get along?
“Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will push the company to demonstrate that it can effectively tackle terrorism or war challenges,” analysts led by Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group, said in a research report. “The attacks could complicate Aramco’s IPO plans given rising security risks and potential impact on its valuation.”
The tweet came before 6 a.m., as President Trump’s tweets often do. It was early March, and the Trump administration had just announced steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. That did not make China or America’s European allies happy. Last week, after the U.S. imposed tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods, it was reported that China would respond with their own tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods.
DETROIT (Reuters) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) said late on Saturday it would not extend its contract with General Motors Co (N:GM) and would decide on a course of action at a meeting of union leaders in Detroit Sunday morning that could result in talks resuming or possibly workers going out on strike.
We think of today’s Washington as being rigidly divided along party lines on nearly every issue. But a bloc of Democrats in the Senate just joined with Republicans and the Trump administration on a bill that would lighten some restrictions on banks imposed by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, one of President Obama’s signature policy achievements. Meanwhile, some congressional Republicans are considering legislation that would stop President Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which several Democrats and labor leaders have publicly supported.
The union will continue to work “until a course of action is decided by the UAW International Executive Board and the UAW-GM National Council,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement.
Republicans are in revolt. Economists on the left and right are deeply skeptical. President Trump’s top economic adviser resigned rather than be party to it. The culprit: tariffs, and specifically the president’s decision to slap duties on imported steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent).