Industry groups representing dozens of major US companies, launching a new coalition Wednesday to fight against President Donald Trump's escalating trade tariffs. The coalition, called Americans for Free Trade, which represents a wide range of businesses, everything from tech to toys, includes several retail groups like the National Retail Federation and the American Petroleum Institute, which includes the largest refiners like Exxon Mobile and Chevron.
Reuters correspondent, Ginger Gibson.>> Businesses are launching this new effort, after months of working quietly behind closed doors, to convince Donald Trump to back off of his trade agenda. However, now it's gotten much worse than they ever imagined. And they say after trying to push back silently, they must bring the fight into the public eye.
>> The coalition hopes to push Republican lawmakers in several states, ahead of the November midterms, to press Trump to abandon the deepening tariffs, which they say are hurting the economy. Their first campaign, dubbed Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, involves reaching out to members of Congress, buying ads, and hosting town hall style meetings in swing states.
>> This is a coalition that's bringing together thousands of companies, and some of the largest American businesses. And that collective effort is really gonna show that it's not just a handful of businesses complaining, but really the American economy at large.>> So far, Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and electronic parts.
And he has vowed to slam tariffs on billions of dollars worth of consumer goods. China has threatened retaliation, which includes action against US companies operating there.