Charles Koch: Corporations need to 'reject' Trump's tariffs
© Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Republican donor Charles Koch slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE's announced tariffs on steel and aluminum and encouraged corporate leaders to reject the plan in an op-ed on Wednesday. 

"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," Koch wrote in The Washington Post. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Koch went on to describe the "harmful effect" he said the tariffs would have, saying consumers will be hurt the most by the restrictions. 

Koch is a free market libertarian who did not contribute to Trump's campaign despite his history as a major Republican donor. He is the latest businessman to speak out against Trump's plan to slap a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

Republicans have not lined up behind Trump's announced tariffs either.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Trump selects Kelly Craft for United Nations ambassador Union leader says Green New Deal would make infrastructure bill ‘absolutely impossible’ MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday he has "genuine concern" the tariffs could lead to a trade war. 

"I think the best way to characterize where most Republican senators are right now, including myself, is genuine concern that this not escalate into something much broader," McConnell said. 
 
Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump MORE (R-Wis.) has also voiced concerns over the tariffs, with his office issuing a statement saying Ryan was “extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war” triggered by the tariffs.
 
The European Union has said it will consider slapping its own tariffs on major U.S. imports such as bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which could have major impacts on McConnell's and Ryan's home states. 
 
However, Trump has maintained that tariffs will help the U.S., which he said has been on the losing side of trade.