Billionaire Charles Koch says he and his network of libertarian organizations are “working hard against” President Trump’s popular, pro-American trade agenda.
Charles and David Koch are two of the Republican Party’s biggest billionaire donors, supporting an agenda of endless multinational free trade agreements and open borders, which keep U.S. wages stagnant.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Koch hinted that Trump’s 25 percent tariff on imported steel and ten percent tariff on aluminum — both designed to revive the U.S. manufacturing base — would potentially lead to socialism.
Koch also denounced Trump’s popular efforts to crack down on cheap, imported products from China.
Koch told the Washington Examiner:
The less trade we have the worse everybody is. I mean, the less exports we have the less imports we have and that makes us worse off. And the more we isolate ourselves, the less we learn of improvements and developments and innovations around the world.
We’re working hard against all these other protectionist trade barriers that are just different forms of corporate welfare which, other than a few special interests, will make Americans worse off.
In the last year, the Koch brothers have been on a campaign against Trump’s trade and immigration agenda, both designed to increase U.S. manufacturing and increase wages for American workers.
Like immigration, though, the Koch brothers remain out of touch with Republican voters and the majority of Americans on the issue of trade.
For example, the most recent Morning Consult poll revealed that nearly 60 percent of Americans say tariffs on imported Chinese steel and aluminum were necessary for the U.S.-China economic relationship.
Unlike Trump and his base of supporters, the Koch brothers prefer the Washington, DC,-imposed cheap labor, free trade economic model wherein American workers’ wages remain stagnant and foreign products continue to flow into the country.
That economic model relies on more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants being admitted to the U.S. every year, driving down Americans’ wages, and corporations moving their manufacturing and production overseas only to export their cheap products back into the country.
This week, the Trump administration announced $50 billion worth of tariffs and restrictions it will impose on imported products from China, Breitbart News‘s John Carney reported.
Meanwhile, free trade with China has resulted in the elimination of millions of American jobs. For example, in a report by the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the country’s trade deficit with China.
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.
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.