Following months pursuing a war against President Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs that have risen far beyond what commercial groups once thought, more than 85 U.S. commerce groups launched an alliance on Wednesday to take it on publicly.
The start of Americans for Free Trade comes as Trump progressively warms to employing tariffs. He has imposed levies on billions of dollars’ worth of products on trading partners, prompting retribution against U.S. exports.
“A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn’t go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tariffs) has finally gotten everyone to say: ‘Enough is enough,’” said Nicole Vasilaros, the top lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, whose members are weighing layoffs after costs rose as much as 35 percent.
The campaign will incorporate different forms of media to include television and digital ads in addition to encouraging voters to speak to their members of Congress in efforts to kill Trump’s movement, an effort directors hope will convince lawmakers to contest the tariffs.
“There has been a lot of work that has been going on over the last eight months to try to persuade the president and the administration that tariffs are not going to work,” said Dean Garfield, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, whose members include Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O). “Our view is that it’s not too late.”
Trump Campaign Promises
While campaigning, Trump discussed enforcing tariffs and ending involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership, a large international trade pact, and he has kept those promises. He also suggested attacks on China, promising car import levies and working for a more pro-American North American Free Trade Agreement, even at the jeopardy of ending the three country pact.
Trump has executed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, mainly industrial machinery and moderate electronics parts.
A pending agenda of implementing tariffs on $200 billion worth of products and the threat of yet another $267 billion would fundamentally cover every Chinese export to the U. S. Beijing has threatened vengeance, which may include action against U.S. companies conducting business in China.