Since he feels that the US is on the losing side of many of our trade deals, President Donald Trump has recently announced that he will implement tariffs.
In particular, Trump plans to impose a 10% tariff on imported aluminum and a 25% tariff on imported steel. These tariffs are what it took to cause billionaire and Republican supporter Charles Koch to formally speak out against President Trump.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Koch wrote:
“One might assume that, as the head of Koch Industries — a large company involved in many industries, including steel — I would applaud such import tariffs because they would be to our immediate and financial benefit. But corporate leaders must reject this type of short-term thinking, and we have. If we are to have a system in which businesses can succeed long term, policies must benefit everyone, not just the few…”
Koch, who identifies as a free-market libertarian, his family, and his company, all donate millions to high profile Republicans. Or, looked at another way, Charles Koch and his brother David buy politicians. So it would stand to reason that Koch’s feelings concerning the tariff’s could cause Trump to lose the support of several Republican lawmakers.
Mitch McConnell has thanked Charles and David both for their support (read: massive campaign contributions). After helping insure the passage of the new tax bill, Paul Ryan scored $500,000 from the Koch family. Other Republican politicians who have benifited from Koch funds include Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, and Roy Blunt.
Koch money buys the power of Repulbican lawmakers. If those lawmakers are interesting in keeping their power via the funds Koch provides them, they’ll undoubtedly give his feelings about the proposed tariffs more weight that Donald Trump’s words. More than anyone in the world, Trump should be the least surprised to learn that money talks.