Per Vox, Big Business and the GOP establishment are teaming up to undermine President Trump’s America First agenda.
Unsurprisingly, the effort is being led by The US Chamber of Commerce and is supported by many Senate Republicans.
The largest business lobbying group in America is declaring war on President Donald Trump’s trade agenda.
The US Chamber of Commerce, an advocacy group that represents more than t3 million American businesses, launched a new campaign on Monday designed to persuade policymakers and the public that the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive trade policies represent a huge threat to the American economy.
The Chamber released an interactive graphic that maps out how Trump’s trade conflicts with China, Europe, Canada, and Mexico could affect each state in the country in the coming months. It details how many of each state’s exports to foreign countries are vulnerable to retaliatory tariffs against Trump’s tariffs — and warns that they could cause millions of job losses.
“Tariffs are beginning to take a toll on American businesses, workers, farmers, and consumers as overseas markets close to American-made products and prices increase here at home,” US Chamber President Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve.”
Even the usually Trump-friendly Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said of the tariffs, “I’d like to kill ’em.”
However, it’s also worth noting that while some Republicans are trying to block Trump on tariffs, some Democrats, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), for example, actually had his back on a key vote to limit Trump’s authority.
What’s curious about Mr. Corker’s attempt to quash the tariffs and kill the president’s authority to levy them, was who came to rescue — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio).
Mr. Brown, no ally to Mr. Trump on pretty much any other issue, argued to block Mr. Corker’s amendment.
More than that, Mr. Brown not only argued in defense of the principle that Section 232 should be preserved because a president should have the authority to set tariffs, but Mr. Brown specifically went to bat for these tariffs by this president.
“China’s cheating has cost too many Ohio steel jobs already and I will not allow us to gut enforcement tools just as we are finally fighting back,” the senator said on the floor. “I understand concerns about our allies like Canada being included, and I am working with the Administration to negotiate a solution without letting China off the hook.”
Senate leadership agreed with Mr. Brown and would not allow a vote on the tariff-killing amendment. If a vote comes at all, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said, it would only be after hearings in an appropriate committee.
Finally, some reports appear to characterize the opposition to Trump on tariffs as mostly talk and little more, noting that any opposition is likely to not amount to much in the end: Congress defers to Trump on tariffs, China’s ZTE. while it’s hard to keep track of how Bob Corker is doing with every little feud he seems intent on starting with the President, it does seem fair to say that for now he usually ends up coming up very short.
U.S. exporters want Congress to rein in President Donald Trump on tariffs, and national security hawks want Congress to force him to put Chinese telecom gear-maker ZTE Corp. out of business.
Good luck with that, trade experts and lobbyists say: Congress is unlikely to stop deferring to Trump anytime soon.