Ag Today June 5, 2018

Koch-Financed Groups Launch Campaign to Halt U.S. Import Tariffs

By Heidi Vogt, The Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2018 7:39 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Three organizations financed by conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are launching a multimillion-dollar campaign against President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports.

The groups said Monday that the multiyear initiative will include advertising, education of activists, lobbying, policy analysis and “grass roots mobilization.” The groups—Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The Libre Initiative—released a list of trade recommendations that focus on encouraging competitive markets and eliminating tariffs.

The effort is an indication of the deep consternation among business groups—normally strong Republican allies—about the effect of the tariffs, which have angered foreign countries, rivals and allies alike. It also serves as a message to Republican lawmakers to hold their ground against tariffs.

Pro-business Republicans worry about the increased cost of industrial supplies that would result from the tariffs, while Farm Belt interests fear retaliation from China and others on exports from the U.S. The tariffs have been welcomed by some Democrats and union members.

Read more…