It looks like the anti-tariff campaign for Donald Trump by three political groups has deep pockets behind it, as the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David have decided to fund it. The campaign is going to cost millions of dollars and will use advertising and lobbying and push people at the grassroots level to get behind the campaign in order to promote the advantages of free trade. Koch industries, the private-owned firm run by the brothers, are one of the worlds’ largest. Though, recently, the younger brother, David, is stepping down due to health concerns which have saddened Charles.
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the LIBRE Initiative and Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed groups are pushing Trump to remove tariffs on the import of steel and aluminum as it will impact the health of the economy in a negative way limiting its growth. Both businesses and consumers will be impacted and these groups feel that there are other routes that could help the administration in achieving what they want. Republican supporters are also opposing the move as it could mean bad results in the upcoming mid-term election. With leaders from concerned nations like EU, Canada and Mexico publicly criticizing the tariffs, US might find itself in a trade war.
The Kochs have been a constant source of funds for the Republican Party for over a decade now. They funded the Republicans in the last election, though they didn’t anticipate Trump’s victory. The brothers have been known to back conservatives for a long time as the regulations are in their favor. It said, the brothers and the President do not exactly see eye to eye on many things with the exception of tax reform. Even the current campaign is in an advisory capacity, not in a rebellious one. But if Trump fails to listen, things might change for the worse. The Republicans have had a tradition of having people who support free trade and the current President is an exception to that rule. His stay at the White House could well be determined by his decision on the tariffs.