By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in North Sioux City, S.D.

1. Mexican tariff decisions near

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: President Trump returns from Europe at 4:45 this afternoon and will have to make an immediate decision on whether to invoke a 5% tariff on Mexico. Vice President Mike Pence continued talks with Mexican envoys Thursday and was "encouraged." According to AP, Pence said that negotiators had been discussing a potential agreement to make it difficult for those who enter Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the U.S. Mexico has long resisted that request. 

President Trump was twitter silent on the topic. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the Wall Street Journal  that his government was ready to deploy the country’s newly created National Guard to the border with Guatemala. “We have explained that there are 6,000 men and that they will be deployed there,” he told reporters. Talks will continue today. Watching with much anticipation are Hoosier manufacturers, auto parts makers, retailers, and restaurant owners as well as consumers, all who will be impacted if the tariffs go into effect. They will be the ones who will pay, not Mexico.

2. U.S. economy cools

President Trump's reelection depends on a continued robust economy. But he plays with fire with his Mexican/Chinese tariffs. The U.S. Labor Department revealed 75,000 new jobs in May, while the jobless rate held steady at 3.6%, a near 50-year low. But analysts had expected 180,000 jobs and revised downward job stats from April and March. Wall Street Journal: Manufacturers added 3,000 workers to payrolls, continuing a weak streak for a sector most tied to trade tensions and slowing growth abroad. 

3. More troubling economic tell tales

The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell by more than two-points to 50.5 in May, the lowest level since Sept. 2009 after the 2008 economic meltdown according to IHS Markit. Bloomberg: Survey respondents stated that weak client demand drove the drop in new orders for the first time in almost a decade. Some firms also noted that customers were postponing orders due to growing uncertainty about the outlook. And the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer was 14 points lower in May  according to Hoosier Ag Today. “Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they expect to see wealth decline in the next 12 months. That compares to 39 percent back in February and 35 percent a year ago. So, farmers have become significantly more negative with respect to income and what’s likely to take place with regard to their wealth.”

4. Political reversals

Joe Biden is now against the Hyde Amendment, reversing a 40-year stance  after the rest of the 2020 Democratic field piled on over the rule that prevents federal funds to pay for abortions. "I can't justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to ... exercise their constitutionally protected right," Biden told NBC. "If I believe healthcare is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code." And Republican Indianapolis mayoral nominee Jim Merritt won't march in the Indy Pride parade on Saturday, missing out on rainbow paint splatters. “This is Indy Pride’s celebration and I do not wish to dampen it,” he said.

5. Fair Oaks crisis update

With Fair Oaks Farm CEO Mike McCloskey in full crisis communication mode (“Our bull calves will no longer go to veal. It was not our practice in the past ... and (I) apologize for the unintended false claim made previously," State Sen. Travis Holdman, who authored legislation to bar undercover farm videos, called the revelation "political." He told the NWI Times of potential future "ag gag" legislation, "Seeing as this is just a one-time incident that we're aware of, I don't think we need a knee-jerk reaction to do something legislatively necessarily."

Have a great weekend folks. It's The Atomic!