Chamber of Commerce Vows to Fight Trump’s Popular Tariffs

Open-hearth steelmaking process at the Vyksa Steel Works in Russia's Nizny Novgorod region on March 2, 2018. The plant is to shut down its open-hearth furnace by the end of March 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Vasily MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a nationwide campaign against President Trump’s popular tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the free trade loyalists announced.

In an exclusive Reuters report, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue revealed that the big business lobby will fight Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, claiming that the organization wants “free and fair trade” but does not support the economic nationalist approach to the issue.

“The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve,” Donohue said.

The Trump administration has been fierce in its efforts to protect American workers and U.S. industry by cracking down on imports. That agenda has come in the form of a 25 percent tariff on all imported steel and a ten percent tariff on all imported steel.

American workers thanked Trump when the steel and aluminum tariffs were implemented, as Breitbart News noted, despite major pushback from the Chamber of Commerce and the pro-mass immigration billionaire Koch brothers.

Much like the Chamber of Commerce — which pushed for the implementation of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) —  the Koch brothers have launched their own campaign against Trump’s pro-American tariffs.

Though the business lobbying class and economic elite continue to oppose Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Americans have remained split on the issue, but Republican voters are overwhelmingly supportive of tariffs to protect American industry.

In the latest Harvard/Harris Poll, 56 percent of Republican voters say they believe Trump’s tariffs will result in American jobs being protected. About 40 percent of voters living in rural America said the same.

Additionally — although the free trade absolutists in the Republican Party have desperately tried to promote job-killing free trade deals — more than 55 percent of American voters say they associated tariffs with the Republican Party. Less than ten percent of voters say they identify tariffs with the Democrats, showing the massive transformation that Trump has made in reshaping the Republicans into a party of economic nationalism, rather than globalist, multinational trade.

Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. Between 2001 and 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the country’s trade deficit with China, as Breitbart News reported.

Of the 3.4 million U.S. jobs lost in that time period, about 2.6 million were lost in the crippled manufacturing industry, making up about three-fourths of the loss of jobs from the U.S.-Chinese trade deficit.

With free trade, foreign markets have been readily opened to multinational corporations, allowing them to offshore American jobs while easily exporting their products back into the U.S.

The Rust Belt has been one of the hardest regions hit because of U.S. free trade with Mexico. In total, about 700,000 U.S. workers have been displaced, including:

  • 14,500 American workers displaced in Wisconsin
  • 43,600 American workers displaced in Michigan
  • 2,600 American workers displaced in West Virginia
  • 26,300 American workers displaced in Pennsylvania
  • 34,900 American workers displaced in Ohio
  • 34,300 American workers displaced in New York
  • 6,500 American workers displaced in Iowa
  • 24,400 American workers displaced in Indiana
  • 34,700 American workers displaced in Illinois

Meanwhile, since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in the 1990s, at least one million net U.S. jobs have been lost because of the free trade deal. Between 2000 and 2014, there have been about five million manufacturing jobs lost across the country as trade deficits continue soaring.

One former steel town in West Virginia lost 94 percent of its steel jobs because of NAFTA, with nearly 10,000 workers in the town being displaced from the steel industry.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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