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The Farm Bureau held a series of conference calls over the past week to poll its members about Mr. Akin. The organization requires at least a two-thirds vote to make an endorsement.

Since his remarks, Mr. Akin has lost the support of some deep-pocketed political groups, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a super PAC affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove. Both entities dropped plans to air millions of dollars of ads in Missouri. Mr. Akin has instead turned to soliciting small-dollar donations over the Internet.


Trade deficit up slightly in July as exports fall

The U.S. trade deficit grew slightly in July as exports fell at a slightly faster pace than imports.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade deficit widened to $42 billion, 0.2 percent higher than June’s imbalance of $41.9 billion.

U.S. exports fell 1 percent to $183.3 billion, lowered by weaker sales of autos, telecommunications equipment and heavy machinery. Imports declined 0.8 percent to $225.3 billion as oil imports fell 6.5 percent.

A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on growth because the U.S. is typically spending more on imports while taking in less from the sales of American-made goods.

Weaker growth around the globe is hurting U.S. exports. Exports to Europe fell 11.7 percent. Many European countries are in recession, which has cut demand for American-made goods. The region accounts for about one-fifth of U.S. exports.

The deficit with China grew 7.2 percent in July to $29.4 billion, the largest with any single country. That reflected a 5.6 percent jump in imports, which vastly outpaced a smaller 0.4 percent rise in U.S. exports.

China accounts for about 7 percent of U.S. exports and has the second-largest economy in the world. Still, its economy has weakened this year and may be worsening. On Monday, China reported that its imports from the rest of the world shrank in August.

Exports fell in other big emerging economies. U.S. sales of goods to Brazil fell 4.4 percent, while exports to India dropped 1.2 percent.

From wire dispatches and staff reports