Sep 19, 2019

Koch network admits defeat on anti-Trump trade war ad campaign

Charles Koch. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The network funded in part by billionaire and Republican megadonor Charles Koch is shifting gears in its efforts to combat President Donald Trump's trade war with China, CNBC reports, after sources told the outlet that its TV ad campaign has fallen flat.

Why it matters: Leaders of the network told CNBC that the argument they're selling to voters — that tariffs are costing American consumers — isn't resonating. "It doesn’t penetrate with the people that are willing to go along with the argument that you have to punish China," a senior Koch official told CNBC.

What's next: Koch network officials said they will try a new message, but they weren't clear on what exactly that will entail. They will also try a more grassroots approach that will include educating 100,000 activists in 35 states about the negative effects of combating China through tariffs.

By the numbers: According to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey, 63% of all registered voters believe tariffs will ultimately hurt the United States more than China. but 67% said it is necessary to confront China over its trade policies.

Go deeper: Trump's trade war is being felt throughout the economy

Go deeper

The cost of Trump's tariffs

Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Tariffs Hurt the Heartland; Note: Lists 1-3 refers to USTR designation of Chinese imports subject to tariffs; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Tariffs imposed by President Trump have so far cost U.S. corporations $34 billion, according to data compiled by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — a coalition of businesses and trade groups that oppose the tariffs — provided first to Axios.

Why it matters: Trade negotiations are set to resume Thursday, and corporate America is hoping the U.S. and China — whose tit-for-tat battle has cost companies the most — strike a truce.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

China cancels U.S. farm visits while Trump holds out for a "big deal"

Trump meets in the Oval Office on Sept. 20. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Trade negotiators from China cancelled visits to meet farmers in Montana and Nebraska on Friday, around an hour after President Trump said he was interested in a "big deal," not “a partial deal” with China, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The U.S. trade war with China has reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs, compared with likely employment levels absent the trade war, Moody’s Analytics estimates. The National Foundation for American Policy estimates that tariffs will cost U.S. households $2,000 each by next year.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Trump's promises on "phase 1" deal with China fall flat

President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2017. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

It's been a week since President Trump touted his "phase 1" partial trade agreement with China as the greatest-ever deal for U.S. farmers — but China isn't endorsing his promises.

Where it stands: China has not confirmed Trump's claim that it will buy $40 billion–$50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, and it says a final deal would require the U.S. to cancel all existing and future tariffs, CNBC reports. No final decision has been reached to determine if the U.S. will push tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019