Dogwood Daily: How Trump's tariffs hurt Virginia
By Keya Vakil
May 31, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to every single friend you’ve ever made (hey, we gotta shoot for the stars here!) who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But First…

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the General Assembly passing Medicaid expansion, which has changed the lives of approximately 280,000 low-income Virginians who’ve enrolled in the program.

5 Things you need to know today…

  1. Trump’s new Mexico tariffs could hurt Virginia – President Trump announced a plan to impose 5% tariffs on Mexican imports starting June 10. The move is an effort from Trump to punish Mexico for not stopping central American migrants from reaching the U.S. border. Trump said the tariff would jump by 5% increments each month, up to 25%, unless Mexico takes action. Tariffs are paid by the companies that import products, meaning U.S. corporations would be on the hook, and those costs could then be transferred to consumers in Virginia. The tariffs could also cause cause Trump’s renegotiated NAFTA deal to fall apart, which could have severe consequences for the Commonwealth’s economy. Virginia exported more than $6 billion worth of goods and services to Canada and Mexico in 2017.
  2. Opposition to shutdown of Flatwoods Jobs Corps grows – Legislators are speaking out against the Trump administration’s plan to shut down the Flatwoods Job Corps in Coeburn, a move that would result in the loss of dozens of jobs and $6 million in local economic activity. On Monday, the Coeburn Town Council passed a resolution stating the closing would devastate the community. Del. Todd Pillion (R-Abingdon) and state Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Galax) also expressed their opposition in a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) and U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats from Virginia, also publicly opposed the closing.
  3. State Sen. Amanda Chase struggles to deal with fallout from altercation with police officer – State Sen. Amanda Chase is struggling to deal with the fallout from her argument with a Capitol Police officer back in March. After initially denying that she cursed at the officer and called the Senate clerk “Miss Piggy,” Chase later admitted she dropped the “f-bomb.” Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard has withdrawn his support for her campaign and called on a Republican Board of Supervisors to do the same.
  4. State regulators deny Costco’s bid to break free of Dominion’s monopoly – The State Corporation Commission rejected Costco’s request to shop for electricity on the open market, telling the company that if it thinks it’s being overcharged by Dominion Energy, then it needs to present its case to the General Assembly. Costco is one of eight companies trying to buy energy outside of Dominion and has accused the energy giant of overcharging customers.
  5. Chaos continues to engulf the Republican primary in Virginia’s 97th House district – It’s been a few weeks since we last wrote about the contentious GOP nomination between Del. Chris Peace (R-Hanover) and Scott Wyatt, and things have gotten no less complicated since then. Wyatt continues to declare himself the nominee, while Peace is pushing for his supporters to vote in a firehouse primary on Saturday.  The local district committee voted to cancel that primary, but the state’s central committee says is still on. Confused? So are voters. It’s unclear how this will shake out, but it’s likely to end up in court.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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