After months of waging a behind-the-scenes war against President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs, which have escalated far beyond what business groups once imagined, more than 60 U.S. industry groups are launching a coalition on Wednesday to take the fight public.
Emergence of the group, Americans for Free Trade, comes after Trump has warmed to the use of tariffs, implementing billions of dollars worth in an effort to use them as a threat to win concessions or in the belief they will create U.S. jobs.
“A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn’t go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tariffs) has finally gotten everyone to say: ‘Enough is enough,'” said Nicole Vasilaros, the top lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, whose members are weighing laying off workers after seeing costs rise as much as 35 percent.
“This tit-for-tat tariffs is not getting us anywhere and at the same time, the aim from the administration is ‘We’re trying to help the U.S.’ and this is having the exact opposite effect. This is hurting U.S. manufacturers,” said Vasilaros.