“The problem is the potential for larger retaliation from China, and perhaps other countries, if it spills over. That’s a huge fear,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist with the American Action Forum, a research and advocacy group with close ties to the House GOP leadership.

Researchers at the Dallas Fed said in an analysis published Wednesday that the steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump previously announced, if fully implemented, would probably reduce U.S. gross domestic product by a quarter-percentage point over the long run. If the situation escalates to a trade war involving the U.S., China and the European Union, the disruptions could reduce GDP by 3.5 percent, according to the analysis…

If China follows through on its retaliatory tariffs, they’d be hitting just as campaigns are gearing up for the midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. Republicans already are confronting signs that Democrats have a solid chance to seize control of the majority in the House of Representatives, with Democratic voter disdain for Trump driving up turnout. At the same time, three of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats represent states that would be among the most affected by soybean tariffs — Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota.