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Trade war with China affecting Minnesota retailers

Plus: Target tells supplies to eat costs of tariffs; Edina schools sued over alleged ‘strip search’ of second-grader; Walz family gets a puppy; and more.

President Donald Trump meeting with China's President Xi Jinping
President Donald Trump meeting with China's President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

At MPR, Riham Feshir says, “The major stock indices soared Thursday on word that the U.S. and China would hold high-level trade talks next month. Despite investors’ optimism, the Trump administration’s trade war with China has already hit Minnesota retailers and consumers. A new round of tariffs took effect this week, and the prospect of further hikes has some Minnesota retailers on edge. … This far into the trade war with China, retailers’ only remaining option is to raise prices, said Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association. … Nustad says whether they sell appliances, shoes or clothes, retailers — big and small — are feeling the effects. Tariffs on electronics are set to begin in December.”

Related. The Star Tribune’s Jackie Crosby reports, “The latest round of tariffs on Chinese-made goods will raise the cost of millions of everyday consumer items. But Target Corp. does not want to pass any increase along to shoppers. Instead, it is telling suppliers to eat the costs. In a pointed memo to hundreds of national-brand vendors who import goods from China, Target’s chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton, made clear that the Minneapolis-based retail chain ‘will not accept any new cost increases’ related to the new levies that went into effect Sunday.

In the Strib, Erin Golden reports, “The mother of a former student at an Edina elementary school is suing the school district, alleging that school staff violated district policy when they subjected her second-grade student to a ‘body cavity ‘strip’ search.’’ The district in a statement said it ‘vehemently denies the allegations in this lawsuit.’ The lawsuit, filed last week in Hennepin County District Court, involves an incident that took place during the 2017-18 school year.”

For the Forum News Service, Dana Ferguson writes: “A key Minnesota state senator says he wants to hold a hearing to discuss gun policy, but it’s not the hearing gun control advocates have pressed him for. Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said on Thursday that he hopes to hold an informational meeting to bring lawmakers and reform advocates up to speed on existing Minnesota gun laws. … And he — along with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa — has been skeptical of the prospects of two gun-control measures that passed in the Minnesota House but didn’t get a hearing in the Senate.”

WCCO-TV reports: “The Roseau County Sheriff’s office is alerting the public about a missing Canadian soldier who may be in northern Minnesota. Patrik Jordan Mathews, from Manitoba, went missing on August 24, according to Canada’s GlobalNews. His truck was found about four miles north of the United States border near Minnesota’s Lost River State Forest. Mathews, who has a background in explosives, is alleged to have ties to a white supremacist network, and may be actively recruiting members.”

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MPR’s Briana Bierschbach reports: “After getting hounded for nearly a year, Gov. Tim Walz has relented. He got his family a puppy. The Walz family debuted their new 3-month-old rescue puppy Scout at a press conference at the governor’s residence in St. Paul on Thursday. Scout fulfils a campaign promise the DFLer made to his son Gus last year. He said the family could get a dog if he won the governor’s race. … The family adopted Scout from Midwest Animal Rescue, a nonprofit that places pets with foster families and in permanent homes.”

KSTP-TV has this: “Duluth police continued their search Thursday for a missing University of Minnesota-Duluth student. Police said 21-year-old Jacob Michael Lavoie, from Inver Grove Heights, was last seen leaving Grandma’s Sports Garden early Sunday morning. At the time, Lavoie was heading north toward downtown.

For City Pages, Hannah Jones says, “One of the great unsung treasures of the Minnesota State Fair is the Sky Glider. Guests pack into candy-colored ski lift chairs and float into the air, where they can take in an aerial view of the grounds. … On a roof just a few yards beneath, an abundance of trash, change, discarded shirts, midway prizes, and the occasional bra lay stranded — abandoned by other riders and left to bake in the sun. … Unfortunately, the building in question is actually an agricultural exhibit for children, which makes the whole thing a little awkward. ‘They ride little tractors and learn about crops,’ [fair spokesperson Danielle] Dullinger says. Meanwhile, ‘crazy underwear’ and ‘very large bras’ flutter down from the sky.”

At The Verge, Nick Statt reports, “Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn is expanding its controversial Wisconsin presence with automated coffee robots. The manufacturer, known best for helping create the world’s most popular electronics devices predominantly in its Chinese factories, today announced a partnership with a Texas-based company called Briggo, which makes automated coffee dispensers the size of modest mall kiosks mostly for airports and corporate offices. … Foxconn will help the company manufacture its units in its Wisconsin LCD factory, which doesn’t exist yet — and thus produces no LCDs, or any other product for that matter — and which Foxconn has previously claimed it plans to use for a variety of manufacturing purposes.”