In a surprising political move, the network supported by the highly influential Koch brothers expressed worry about President Donald Trump’s tariff plan. Billionaires Charles and David Koch own Koch Industries, one of the largest and most politically influential corporations in the world. Historically, the corporation has used its economic standing to exert power on the conservative side of the political spectrum, donating massive amounts of money to campaigns and initiatives which support their interests.
One crucial part of the Koch brothers’ empire is the advisement group Americans for Prosperity. On Friday, the group’s President, Tim Phillips, took a stand against Trump’s tariff policies. Phillips expressed his concern that promoting an ideal of protectionism is not good for the country. This will end up hurting American industries because other countries will fight back with their own tariffs. In the end, this will be an additional tax for Amerian consumers on many popular products they demand.
This stance against the tariffs is a direct departure from the support the Koch network bestowed on the Trump administration for its controversial tax cuts that were announced last December and implemented early this year. Following the tax cuts, Americans for Prosperity has continued to drum up support for the measures and stand by the President’s plan for economic growth. However, there is growing concern from the Koch network that the latest in tariff plans will escalate the trade war with China and eventually cancel out all of the economic benefits gained by the tax cut.