Billionaire Koch brothers take on Trump over tariffs



Manufacturers and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have slammed Trump's decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, warning that retaliation is likely and calling the move a tax on U.S. companies and consumers.

The best yardstick is the 20 percent duty Mexico imposed on US apples from August 2010 to October 2011, Fryhover said.

The president of the U.S. National Pork Producers Council said Mexico accounted for almost 25 percent of all pork shipments past year, adding that "a 20 percent tariff eliminates our ability to compete effectively in Mexico".

Groups backed by the influential Koch brothers' network announced today they were launching a new multimillion-dollar campaign to oppose tariffs and highlight the benefits of free trade.

When he first proposed the tariffs in March, Trump stated he would consider lifting them if a new deal was met on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The tariff increases are created to hit areas that are politically favourable to Trump, such as pork production, Mexican experts said.

In the short-term, Zekelman admits the 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium will hurt his company financially as some production in the US shifts to Canada and vice versa.

Mexico's list of products that will be subject to the charges also includes USA steel plates, bars, rods and rolled steel.

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That approach has only inflamed allies, including Canada and Mexico, which have threatened to strike back with their own targeted tariffs aimed at Republican states and areas that supported Trump.

"The United States has to understand the seriousness of it for itself", Martin said Tuesday in an interview for the podcast edition of CBC Radio's The House.

In talks in Beijing over the weekend, China offered to buy close to $70 billion in US agriculture, energy and manufacturing products over a year as part of a package meant to ward off USA tariffs, according to a person briefed on the talks with the White House.

Numerous products targeted are produced by exporters in states that are politically important to United States President Donald Trump.

"This campaign makes a clear statement: Trade is a major priority for our network", James Davis, executive vice president of Freedom Partners, said in a statement.

Kudlow said Tuesday on Fox News that the president is "seriously considering" negotiating with Canada and Mexico separately, and forming two bilateral trade agreements. However, the Mexican economy relies more on trade than does the USA economy, with about 80 percent of its exports sold to America. Trump imposed the penalties under a 1962 law that allows a president to increase or reduce tariffs on goods they regard as critical to national security. "But we must understand that a Norway model is specifically created to serve the interests of Norway and would not work for the United Kingdom".

Canada has already granted some access to its dairy markets in its other big free trade deals with the European Union and the re-booted Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 11-country Pacific Rim pact that does not include the U.S.

Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said that Mexico would now "surely" look to import more pork from Europe.

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