The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, usually a staunch ally of the Republican party, is launching a campaign against President Donald Trump’s recent trade tariff policies, Reuters reported last Monday. With state-by-state analysis, the business lobbying giant argues the new tariffs risk a global trade war that will harm Americans.
“The administration is threatening to undermine the economic progress it worked so hard to achieve,” said Chamber President Tom Donohue in a statement to Reuters. “We should seek free and fair trade, but this is just not the way to do it.”
The chamber’s three million members applauded Trump’s business tax cuts in December, but the organization has distanced itself from the president since his call for new tariffs against China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. With data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and government agencies in the countries hit by the new tariffs, the chamber hopes to show the president that his trade war will hurt Americans—particularly those in states historically loyal to Trump.
The chamber found that U.S. exports will face billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs. Specifically, Texas could see $3.9 billion worth of exports targeted, Tennessee could see $1.4 billion targeted, and South Carolina could see $3 billion targeted.
These estimates are backed by foreign government statements promising action against the tariffs. On July 1st, Canada’s measures against $12.6 billion worth of American goods went into effect in response to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. The EU has already targeted $3.2 billion of American goods like bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. China is expected to implement a 25% tax on soybeans and Mexico is adding taxes to pork imports.
This is not the first time the chamber has clashed with Trump in recent months. Last month, Donohue issued a statement calling for the end of the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy leading to the separation of families at the border. He also asked lawmakers to provide protection for Dreamers (those in the U.S. on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy).