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 TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' 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 PelosiClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump's WHO decision raises bipartisan concerns in House Five takeaways from PPP loan data 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 BennetHouse Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 'The Senate could certainly use a pastor': Georgia Democrat seeks to seize 'moral moment' Some realistic solutions for income inequality MORE (D-Colo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans 1,700 troops will support Trump 'Salute to America' celebrations July 4: Pentagon MORE (D-Md.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperHillicon Valley: Facebook to label 'newsworthy' posts that violate policies | Unilever to pull ads from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram | FEC commissioner steps down Senate Democrats push federal agencies to combat coronavirus scams and robocalls The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases MORE (D-Del.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 Biden hires top aides for Pennsylvania The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns; Global death toll surpasses half a million MORE Jr. (D-Pa.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump administration grants funding extension for Texas testing sites MORE (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziChamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection Trump, GOP clash over new round of checks Democrats detail their .5T green infrastructure plan MORE (R-Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonSen. Loeffler opposes WNBA Black Lives Matter plan Senate outlook slides for GOP Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter MORE (R-Ga.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators aim to limit Trump's ability to remove troops from Germany MORE (D-Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Senate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers MORE (D-N.J.), Pat Roberts (R- Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanBottom line US security starts in the Arctic Senate confirms nation's first African American service chief MORE (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-S.D.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenMaryland GOP governor who's criticized Trump says he's considering 2024 presidential run Communist China won't change — until its people and the West demand it Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law MORE (D-Md.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBottom line GOP rallies around Trump after firing of Manhattan US attorney Bipartisan bill introduced to provide 0B in relief for restaurants 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 DelBeneThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP on defense as nationwide protests continue Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support House Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments MORE (D-Wash.), Brian HigginsBrian HigginsBiden slams Trump for promoting conspiracy theory about man shoved by police Trump claims 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police could be part of 'set up' NY, NJ lawmakers call for more aid to help fight coronavirus 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 MarchantEthics Committee reviewing Rep. Sanford Bishop's campaign spending Minority caucuses endorse Texas Afro-Latina for Congress Latina underdog for Texas House seat picks up steam MORE (R-Texas), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyModerate House Democrats introduce bill aimed at stopping China from exploiting coronavirus pandemic Encouraging a safe business environment can help drive America's recovery The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Delaney says Trump is spewing venom when he should be leading; Protests roil the nation as fears of new virus outbreaks grow MORE (D-Fla.), Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Lawmaker-linked businesses received PPP loans Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November MORE (R-Calif.), Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary Day in New Jersey What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday MORE (D-N.J.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceHouse GOP lawmakers defy new mask requirement Pelosi asks House chairs to enforce mandatory mask-wearing during hearings House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-S.C.), Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithPass the Primary Care Enhancement Act Trump coronavirus briefings put health officials in bind House GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought MORE (R-Mo.).

Americans for Prosperity is also running ads thanking Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA 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 MORE (R-Pa.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE (D-Va.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSenators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Hillicon Valley: Livestreaming service Twitch suspends Trump account | Reddit updates hate speech policy, bans subreddits including The_Donald | India bans TikTok Senators move to boost state and local cybersecurity as part of annual defense bill MORE (D-N.H.) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseChamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection Trump administration narrows suspects in Russia bounties leak investigation: report Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide MORE (R-Neb.), as well as Reps. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director House Republican accuses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube of not doing enough to combat Chinese propaganda MORE (R-Wis.), Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindBottom line Coronavirus culture war over reopening economy hits Capitol Hill How the GOP hopes to overcome steep odds in House battle MORE (D-Wis.), Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump turns to lawmakers to advise on reopening Trump taps members of Congress to advise on reopening Lawmakers cry foul as Trump considers retreating from Open Skies Treaty MORE (D-Calif.) and Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodEncouraging a safe business environment can help drive America's recovery Trump says 'decoupling' from China on the table House GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 MORE (R-Ill.) for supporting the bill.