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Stateside: Trump tariffs could hurt MI farmers; House auto insurance bill; comedian Abdallah Jasim

farm field
Julie Falk
How are the Trump administration's ongoing trade tensions with China affecting Michigan farmers? "It's not helping us at all in agriculture," says Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

Today on Stateside, the fate of auto insurance reform in Michigan hangs in the balance as the state's Democratic governor and GOP-controlled Legislature take different stances on the issue. Plus, Iraqi-American comedian Abdallah Jasim talks about navigating cultural differences through comedy. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

State House and Senate's auto insurance bills unlikely to survive a Whitmer veto in current form

Stateside’s conversation with Kathy Gray

  • Early Thursday morning, the state House passed a billthat would guarantee rate reductions for auto insurance and allow drivers to choose between different levels of medical coverage for crashes. Governor Whitmer’s spokesperson has said that both the House bill and similar legislation recently passed by the state Senate fail to meet her standard of “reasonable, fair” reform. 
  • Detroit Free Press reporter Kathy Gray tells us why disagreement over this issue may lead to a political showdown between the governor and the Legislature.

Howes on Lordstown plant: “The one thing the union’s demanding is the one thing they will not get.”

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • General Motors is in negotiations to sell its Lordstown plant to a Cincinnati-based electric truck maker called Workhorse Group, Inc. Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes breaks down what it would take to pull this deal together, and what the outcome could mean for workers in the idled Lordstown plant. 

Comedian Abdallah Jasim on how he uses laughter to navigate life as a Muslim American

Stateside’s conversation with Abdallah Jasim

  • This week, we’ve been bringing you interviews from our Stateside live show at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn. Abdallah Jasim, a comedian who refers to himself as a “chemical engineer by day, funny guy by night,” performed a bit of stand-up for our audience. He also spoke to host Cynthia Canty about how his identity as an Iraqi-American informs his comedy.

Review: “Unapologetically political” poetry collection gives hope for a “brighter and more inclusive” future

Click above to hear John Freeman’s review

  • Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is the title of a new anthology that showcases poets laureate in our region. Stateside’s book reviewer John Freeman brings us a review of the collection, and reflects on how it tackles our current political climate.

For children from non-English speaking households, foster care presents extra obstacles

Stateside's conversation with Laura Mitchell and Michelle Haskell

  • There’s a growing need for bilingual foster homes that speak the native languages of refugee children coming to the United States from countries across the world. Laura Mitchell and Michelle Haskell are with Samaritas, where Mitchell is Executive Director of Foster Care and Haskell is with Refugee Foster Youth Services. They talk about the process of searching for bilingual foster parents, and some of the common languages spoken by childen who are in need of a home.  

Michigan farmers wait and worry as Trump threatens China with more tariffs

Stateside's conversation with Jim Byrum

  • President Trump says that China “broke the deal” that the two countries were working on regarding trade, and that he’s ready to retaliate with more tariffs. That warning came the same day that another crucial round of negotiations began between the U.S. and China in D.C.
  • Jim Byrum is president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. He explains how the administration’s approach to trade negotiations with China has impacted Michigan farmers, and what increased tariffs would mean for their bottom lines. 

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