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US business groups launch campaign to oppose Trump’s tariffs


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Washington, June 6 (IANS) Three US business groups, funded by major conservative political donors, have announced a multi-year, multimillion-dollar campaign to promote free trade and oppose Donald Trump administration’s tariffs against imports from around the world.

The campaign, launched by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative, will "include paid media, activist education and grassroots mobilization, lobbying and policy analysis – all intended to transform the way Washington and the rest of the country consider and value trade with other nations," the groups said on Monday in a statement, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

The groups said they would push the Trump administration to permanently lift those steel and aluminum tariffs, the recent tariffs on solar panels and washing machines as well the proposed additional tariffs on imports from China.

"Tariffs and other trade barriers make us poorer. They raise prices for those who can least afford it," said Freedom Partners Executive Vice President James Davis.

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips added that there are better ways to negotiate trade deals than by "punishing American consumers and businesses with higher costs."

"Instead of pursuing protectionist policies that we already know don’t work, let’s help everyone win by expanding trade, opening new markets and lowering costs," Phillips said.

The LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza criticized that the tariffs and trade barriers imposed by the Trump administration raised the living costs of U.S. consumers and added unnecessary costs to American firms.

"Hispanics and low-income workers are among the most badly hurt by this drag on economic growth and government-mandated price increases," Garza said.

The campaign came after the Trump administration announced last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico, which has drawn strong opposition from the domestic business community and US trading partners.

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