1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Doug Jones, (D) Alabama:
"I think farmers and people in manufacturing are beginning to question whether or not this, this nationalistic approach on tariffs is really going to have effect. Everybody wants, ultimately a better and fairer deal if we can get one. But the way he's going about it, even the Heritage Foundation called it kind of an incoherent strategy. So people are, you know, there's always gonna be a base of voters out there on both sides that are just really going to accept or reject. But I think the folks in the middle are starting to look at this and people that voted still would like to vote for him but they're beginning to question now and they don't like a lot of the rhetoric. I will tell you that. I've seen so much where they don't like a lot of the hateful rhetoric and things that have been said, that kind of approach."
2. UPSOUND: Julie Pace, AP Washington Bureau Chief:
"The tariff policy in particular does seem to be one that has caught the attention of a lot of Trump's supporters. What does that look like on the ground in Alabama?"
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Doug Jones, (D) Alabama:
"Well it looks like my soybean farmers are scared to death because they're losing markets left and right. They've spent so much time building up markets in China and abroad and now they're going away. We've got soybeans rotting in the field, we got so we've been sitting in warehouses that can't stay and stay there for so long. So they're beginning to say, 'OK we we we put you in here to try to get us a better deal. But there's got to be an endgame here. Tell us what the end game is and how long this is going to last.' Automobile manufacturers, Alabama is - a lot of people don't know this out there - but Alabama is the fifth largest state for automobile manufacturing. And Alabama is the third leading exporter. The biggest market for Mercedes is in China. And so the the automobile manufacturers, all of which come from either Europe or Asia as their home base, are scared to death. They don't know what to expect when these threatened automobile tariffs. They're already getting hit a little bit with the aluminum and steel that they're having to pay for. And you know, that drove our economy in Alabama up after NAFTA and all the manufacturing of textiles and others kind of left the state. It was it was our automobile manufacturers that brought it up."
4. UPSOUND: Julie Pace, AP Washington Bureau Chief:
"Is it the actual policy that is causing consternation or is it the uncertainty?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Doug Jones, (D) Alabama:
"It's both. It's a little bit of both. Because you've got certain policies this way and then you've got threatened policies. And the uncertainty is still very, very much a concern. And they will absolutely tell you that. Steel tariffs have helped, well what little bit of steel making industry we've got. I came from a steel making town. Fairfield was at one point the second largest steel making facility in America, my little town right outside of Birmingham. Now it's down to less than a thousand people. But they're looking to bring in more jobs. So it's it's it's a good news, bad news, but overall, the tariffs and the uncertainty has really got everybody, got everybody worried. The autoworkers and the manufacturers themselves, both labor and business, are concerned."
Democratic Sen. Doug Jones says President Donald Trump's talk of tariffs is sparking questions and anxiety back home in Alabama, including from soybean farmers who are "scared to death."
Jones said Wednesday in an Associated Press interview that even in deep-red Alabama people are starting to question whether Trump's "nationalistic approach" on tariffs is a threat to their financial well-being.
He said: "My soybean farmers are scared to death because they're losing markets left and right. They've spent so much time building up markets in China and abroad" that are now uncertain because of Trump's approach.
Jones said Alabama's auto exporters are also concerned.
Trump calls himself the "tariff man" and wants to hike more such taxes on foreign entities that do business in the U.S.