Koch brothers taking on Trump with free trade campaign

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Back in March when U.S. President Donald Trump first threatened to impose tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, Zekelman was one of the few voices on this side of the border that was supportive.

Freeland was speaking to CNN's Dana Bash on the network's "State of the Union" Sunday about the White House's recent decision to slap Canada, as well as Mexico and the European Union, with a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum. But just nine days later, a White House statement declared the USA intention to place a 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, focusing on technology products.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross pointed to the slow NAFTA negotiations as a reason for not extending a reprieve on steel and aluminum duties for its North American allies.

Trump has announced tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union in the name of national security, bringing threats of tit-for-tat tariffs aimed at farm goods and other US products.

"Somehow it's sending a clear message that this sort of thing benefits no one, and affects all of us", he said.

Trump is trying to use the threat of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as well as other goods, to force numerous countries to agree to trade concessions.

Those tariffs, which aimed to counter damage suffered by the Mexican steel industry from cheap Asian imports, were also seen discouraging triangulation of steel through Mexico into the USA under Nafta.

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Officials aren't supposed to comment on the figures until at least an hour after the data has been released. He has championed the data since becoming president, though, particularly when it reflects strength.

The effort will include advertising, voter mobilization and lobbying in an attempt to "transform the way Washington and the rest of the country consider and value trade with other nations, " according to a joint statement from three Koch groups. The U.S. has made such bad trade deals over so many years that we can only WIN!

For now, Trump's trade assault hasn't severely dented confidence among American businesses, according to the Fed's beige book, which polls firms across the U.S. While some respondents "noted some concern about the uncertainty of global trade policy", outlooks for near-term growth remain "generally upbeat", the May beige book reported.

Mexico announced its response to Trump's move last week but it did not provide details of tariff levels or a full list of products at the time. Not acceptable!" In a conference call later today with grassroots supporters, he said: "We will be in a very strong position very soon.

Trade ties between Canada and the United States have soured since Trump took office in January 2017.

"These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms". But the president defended his actions saying the USA would soon be in a stronger position with its top trading partners. "Why is the prime minister waiting three weeks to impose these counter-measures specifically on steel and aluminum when the US tariffs came into effect right away?"

The Koch brothers have repeatedly found themselves at odds with President Trump, and recently announced an "aggressive" new campaign against his trade tariffs.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said his country would now "surely" look to Europe for pork products, used in many traditional dishes in Mexico.