A day after Canada slapped new tariffs on a variety of American exports in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a public campaign in opposition to the Trump Administration’s efforts on trade, arguing the President is endangering U.S. jobs, and risking a destructive trade war.
“Simply put, tariffs are a tax on American consumers and businesses. Tariffs are the wrong approach to address unfair trade practices,” the Chamber proclaimed, urging its members to contact members of Congress, to demand action to block the President from further tariffs.
“I am writing to express my strong opposition to the administration’s recently imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese imports, as well as the potential for additional tariffs on autos and auto parts,” the Chamber stated in a prepared email for Congress, rolling out state-by-state numbers on how the business group charges the Trump trade plans will have a negative impact.
“This is the wrong approach, and it threatens to derail our nation’s recent economic resurgence,” the Chamber said of the President’s threat to slap more tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
Last week, the President blasted American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, after the company said it would move production jobs overseas – out of the United States, in order to get around new European Union tariffs on American exports.
“Harley-Davidson should stay 100% in America, with the people that got you your success,” the President tweeted, as he threatened retaliation against the company, tweeting that “they will be taxed like never before!”
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President was not going to back down from his efforts to level the playing field with Mexico, China, the European Union, and Canada.
“The President again is committed to making sure we have good deals,” Sanders said, though she acknowledged at the Monday White House briefing that retaliatory tariffs by other countries – in protest of Mr. Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – were having a negative impact on some U.S. workers.
“Escalating tariffs against the United Sates does nothing to help Canada and it only hurts American workers,” Sanders told reporters.
Those comments echoed Mr. Trump from an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox News, where the President again gave no signs of ratcheting down his efforts to put pressure on Canada, China, Europe and Mexico.
“We have some of the worst trade deals in the world,” the President said.
But while Mr. Trump keeps pressing forward with tariffs, GOP lawmakers in the Congress are getting more and more nervous – in part because their large blocks of farm voters are getting more and more concerned about collateral damage on agricultural products.
U.S. auto makers are also getting concerned about the President’s threat to levy new tariffs on imported cars, arguing that could cost thousands of jobs, and could mean much higher costs for American consumers as well.