New Republican ad found here
The Koch brothers network on Monday announced a multi-million dollar ad campaign to promote free trade that will also serve as a warning shot saying that Republicans need to stand up to President Trump, and keep him from imposing tariffs on imported goods and raw materials.
“Trade is a major priority for our network. We will work aggressively to educate policymakers and others about the facts,” James Davis, a senior spokesman for the Koch network, said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner. “This announcement is a demonstration of our long-term commitment to advance common-sense trade policies that will ensure America’s brightest days are ahead, and to directly confront the protectionist ideas that would hold us back.”
But while the network is a fan of the GOP tax cuts, it appears to have grown frustrated with Republicans, and is now signaling that planned financial and grassroots support in key midterm contests could be withheld or re-directed.
Unhappiness with Trump’s trade policies is the latest in a string of disappointments. He is proceeding with steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from not just adversaries such as China, but allies such as Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. These levies could spread to other imports if the fight escalates.
That disagreement was preceded by the failure to pass legislation to protect illegal immigrants participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the passage of a massive, omnibus spending bill. Now, rather than emphasizing preservation of the GOP’s congressional power, the network is signaling its intention to support politicians of any party that supports its priorities.
Just last week, the Koch brothers’ main grassroots organization, Americans for Prosperity, unveiled a digital campaign praising Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., for supporting a roll back of the Dodd-Frank financial protection law, even though she is a top Republican target. Her presumptive Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, wasn’t amused.
“This president has demonstrated strong leadership in his effort to provide the American people with the most substantial tax relief this nation has seen in decades,” AFP president Tim Phillips said in a statement. “These tariffs amount to self-imposed barriers to the success of tax reform and we urge the administration to reconsider.”
The Koch network declined to elaborate on what its advertising and grassroots efforts would like in the months head.