President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE on Monday lashed out at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the lobbying organization’s opposition to his threat of tariffs against Mexico.
The president called into CNBC for a lengthy interview after a representative from the Chamber appeared on the network to voice concerns with Trump’s use of tariffs as a negotiating tactic. Trump voiced his displeasure with the Chamber and said he was considering giving up his membership with the business group over the spat.
"I’m a member of the U.S. Chamber," Trump said. "Maybe I’ll have to rethink that, because when you look at it, the chamber is probably more for the companies and the people that are members than they are for our country."
"I just want to say to the United States Chamber of Commerce, if we didn’t have tariffs, we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico,” he added.
Trump’s barbs came a short time after Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the Chamber, argued that Trump’s “weaponization of tariffs” was the wrong approach.
The president apparently caught some of the interview and took to CNBC’s airwaves to hit back.
The Chamber of Commerce, which typically aligns with Republican lawmakers, was among the organizations that voiced opposition after Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports if the country did not take steps to curb migrants making their way toward the U.S. border.
The Chamber called it "exactly the wrong move" after the threat was announced and said it would consider a legal challenge against the tariffs.
Trump announced Friday that a deal had been reached to avert the tariffs. However, the president has warned that he could reissue the tariff threat should Mexico fail to sufficiently curb the flow of migrants.
Trump on Monday defended his use of tariffs to CNBC, saying the tactic allowed the U.S. to create a level playing field with competitors.
"As far as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they have to start representing the United States, not just the companies that are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” Trump said.