Kochs Take A Stand Against Trump’s Trade Policies

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The libertarian network of Charles and David Koch is launching a multi-million dollar campaign Monday afternoon to promote the benefits of free trade and oppose the Trump administration’s tariffs.

The campaign will include media buys, grassroots efforts, education for activists, lobbying and policy analysis, according to a release The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained from Koch groups Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity and the LIBRE Initiative.

TheDCNF was unable to obtain the exact or ballpark figure for how much the Kochs are throwing behind this initiative.

“This campaign makes a clear statement: Trade is a major priority for our network,” Freedom Partners Executive Vice President James Davis said in a statement. “Trade lifts people out of poverty and improves lives. It is critical to America’s future prosperity and our consumers, workers and companies. Tariffs and other trade barriers make us poorer. They raise prices for those who can least afford it. That’s why this issue is so important.”

The Kochs have been against trade tariffs and other taxes, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s border adjustment tax, that they feel will be detrimental to the American economy and ultimately leave consumers with higher prices and fewer choices.

President Donald Trump announced on May 31 that the U.S. will impose trade tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. (RELATED: China Warns Of Trumps Trade Tariffs)

Americans for Prosperity detailed a few of the key principles Monday the libertarian Koch network would like to see out of free trade.

Those include trade that is “mutually beneficial to all trading partners,” “allows businesses and individuals to make the most of their comparative advantages,” increases access to high-quality, lower cost goods and helps lift people out of poverty. (RELATED: Kochs Prepare To Grow ‘Ten-Fold’)

The Trump administration is adamant that any trade deals the U.S. is part of have put “America First.” The president is a vocal critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and, notably, withdrew from former President Barack Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), although Trump has suggested a willingness to reenter some talks with Asian trading partners in the coming months.

Editor’s Note: Robert Donachie was a Koch associate in 2016.

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