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Chamber: Trump’s trade policies could threaten 2.6 million jobs

President Trump's strict position on trade could put up to 2.6 million U.S. jobs at risk, according to an analysis from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber's chief executive, Tom Donohue, warned in a memo to the group's board that the administration's positions on trade, including enacted and threatened tariffs on key U.S. allies, could have disastrous effects on the American job market, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"A growing list of tariffs proposed or imposed by our government, as well as the continued uncertainty over the future of Nafta, threatens to undermine the economic progress we have made," Donohue wrote in the memo.

The memo came after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday morning that Trump had decided to make good on a threat to place stiff steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, a move that ignited tensions between White House and business groups.

A number of Republicans on Capitol Hill blasted the move, while Mexico and the EU quickly said they would follow through on their vow to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports.

The administration has maintained that a new deal between the U.S. and its neighbors would reduce trade deficits and bring back jobs to American workers. 

But the Chamber argued that Trump's agenda could undermine U.S. jobs, with the administration's plans to renegotiate the 23-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) appearing to stall after months of high-level meetings.

Donohue warned that withdrawing from NAFTA could cost as many as 1.8 million U.S. jobs in the first year, according to the Journal, while he also warned that tariffs against China and the steel and aluminum tariffs, among others, could cost hundreds of thousands more jobs. 

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