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Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes and Michigan Radio are partners in weekly essays examining what's hot in Michigan business and politics – and what it all means. This week, Howes says President Donald Trump is sending mixed signals to the industrial heartland, whose voters helped deliver him to the White House. Early in the week, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would consider easing Obama-era federal fuel economy rules. A few days later, it upped the ante in its trade tit-for-tat with China, the world’s largest auto market and engine for industry growth.

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