Koch-backed group pushes for new limits on Trump's tariff authority

Koch-backed group pushes for new limits on Trump's tariff authority

A conservative group backed by mega-donor Charles Koch will launch digital ads on Tuesday pressuring Republican and Democratic lawmakers in both chambers to support legislation limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE’s authority to impose new tariffs.

Americans for Prosperity will run digital ads targeting 22 senators and 12 House members from both parties, urging them to support the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, which would require congressional approval for increasing tariffs or levying new ones.

In addition to the pressure campaign, Americans for Prosperity will run ads thanking the Republicans and Democrats who already support the bill. The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act is sponsored by nearly a dozen senators and 19 House members.

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“Tariffs are destructive taxes on American producers and consumers. They threaten to undermine the economic growth the Trump administration has encouraged through tax reform and removing regulatory burdens,” said Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips.

“Congress should hold an up-or-down vote before tariffs proposed by a president can take effect … We strongly encourage these senators and representatives to get on board and cosponsor this bipartisan legislation. This is a top trade priority for our organization and we’ll continue to press Congress to make it a reality.”

Americans for Prosperity has traditionally supported Republican candidates, but they’ve become frustrated with Trump and some GOP lawmakers over policies they view as anathema to conservative free-market principles.

The Koch network’s political arm, which spent about $400 million on politics and policy in the past election cycle, refused to support some GOP candidates in 2018 and targeted others for supporting a massive spending package or refusing to vote for spending clawbacks.

Trump’s trade war with China has been a major source of frustration for the group.

Earlier this year, Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) offering to work with her to limit the president’s authority to impose new tariffs.

“Granting presidents authority to negotiate free trade agreements has helped lower barriers to trade and improve the lives of millions of Americans,” the letter said. “But Congress has ceded to the executive branch too much unilateral authority to impose tariffs … We encourage you to review and support this important legislation.”

Trump has described himself as a “Tariff Man” and slapped billions of dollars of new tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to gain leverage in his negotiations for a trade deal with China. China has responded with its own retaliatory duties on U.S.-made products.

There is optimism that the U.S. and China will reach a new trade agreement sometime later this month ahead of a potential summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. An agreement could result in the U.S. lifting billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The ads asking lawmakers to support the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act will target Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetCyber threats spike during coronavirus pandemic Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website MORE (D-Colo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocratic senator asks Pompeo to stop saying 'Wuhan virus' Small-business rescue package expected to swell to 0 billion or more McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus MORE (D-Md.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Trump rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards | Controversial Keystone XL construction to proceed | Pressure mounts to close national parks amid pandemic Critics blast Trump mileage rollback, citing environment and health concerns Trump administration rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards MORE (D-Del.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Coronavirus stimulus package shouldn't leave out older Americans Sunday shows preview: Trump administration gears up for new week of coronavirus response; Sanders prepares for next phase of primaries MORE Jr. (D-Pa.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlorida sheriff asks for new leads in disappearance of Carole Baskin's former husband after Netflix's 'Tiger King' drops Ted Cruz jokes about quarantine boredom, 'Tiger King' Trump faces mounting pressure to unleash Defense Production Act MORE (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Republicans scramble to avoid Medicare land mine MORE (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLoeffler traded .4M in stocks as Congress responded to coronavirus pandemic Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden riding wave of momentum after stunning Super Tuesday MORE (R-Ga.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Students with disabilities could lose with COVID-19 stimulus package Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner MORE (D-Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees MORE (D-N.J.), Pat Roberts (R- Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP senators urge Saudi Arabia to leave OPEC Overnight Energy: Democratic lawmakers seek emissions reductions in airline bailout | House Dems warn Trump against oil industry bailout | GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market GOP senators ask Saudis to stabilize oil market MORE (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-S.D.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenLawmakers call for unemployment benefits for evacuated Peace Corps volunteers Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' MORE (D-Md.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBottom Line Stimulus empowers Treasury to rescue airlines with billion in direct assistance White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package MORE (R-Miss.).

In the House, Americans for Prosperity is asking for support from Reps. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE (R-Fla.), Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneSenators urge Congress to include election funds in coronavirus stimulus Vote at home saves our democracy and saves lives Mnuchin: Trump to prioritize infrastructure in any coronavirus stimulus package MORE (D-Wash.), Brian HigginsBrian HigginsOn The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts 'Medicare for All' backers notch win with high-profile hearing MORE (D-N.Y.), George HoldingGeorge Edward Bell HoldingThe 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts House GOP vows to use impeachment to cut into Democratic majority MORE (R-N.C.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantTexas kicks off critical battle for House control Gun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 Gaetz filing ethics complaint against Pelosi for 'destroying' Trump speech MORE (R-Texas), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyPelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid Sunday shows preview: State governors and top medical officials prepare for next week of COVID-19 response Members of House GOP leadership self-quarantining after first lawmakers test positive MORE (D-Fla.), Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesNunes claims it would be 'way overkill' to cancel school year in California due to coronavirus Trump steps up intensity in battle with media Nunes urges Americans to 'stop panicking': 'It's a great time to just go out' if you're healthy MORE (R-Calif.), Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements Biden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Juan Williams: Will the GOP ever curb Trump? MORE (D-N.J.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceHouse GOP scores rare floor victory by outmaneuvering Democrats on tax bill Providing more information on the prescription drug supply chain will help lower costs for all On The Money: Lawmakers hammer Zuckerberg over Facebook controversies | GOP chair expects another funding stopgap | Senate rejects Dem measure on SALT deduction cap workarounds MORE (R-S.C.), Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithCongress must act to modernize the Endangered Species Act Even in a time of impeachment, health care is on the agenda House panel advances Trump's new NAFTA MORE (R-Mo.).

Americans for Prosperity is also running ads thanking Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHackers target health care AI amid coronavirus pandemic Hillicon Valley: Coronavirus deal includes funds for mail-in voting | Twitter pulled into fight over virus disinformation | State AGs target price gouging | Apple to donate 10M masks Senator sounds alarm on cyber threats to internet connectivity during coronavirus crisis MORE (D-Va.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanMnuchin says Social Security recipients will automatically get coronavirus checks Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Who should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? MORE (D-N.H.) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseAmerica's governors should fix unemployment insurance Mnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus House Republican urges Pompeo to take steps to limit misinformation from China on coronavirus MORE (R-Neb.), as well as Reps. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherGOP lawmaker touts bill prohibiting purchases of drugs made in China Wisconsin Republican says US must not rely on China for critical supplies We weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack MORE (R-Wis.), Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindTreasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment Nearly all Democrats expected to back articles of impeachment MORE (D-Wis.), Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaHillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency Democrats criticize FCC for not taking action against DC station broadcasting Russian disinformation Lawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa MORE (D-Calif.) and Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodBlagojevich calls himself a 'Trumpocrat,' praises Trump after release from prison Sanders slams Trump pardons as part of 'broken and racist criminal justice system' Illinois GOP House delegation blasts Blagojevich commutation: 'The face of public corruption' MORE (R-Ill.) for supporting the bill.