They are going back to the drawing board.
The Koch network is lamenting that their campaign against President Donald Trump’s tariffs and trade war has largely failed, as their talking points no longer carry much weight among a U.S. right-wing that increasingly supports “America First” economics.
“The argument that, you know, the tariffs are adding a couple thousand dollars to the pickup truck that you’re buying is not persuasive,” an unnamed senior Koch official said during a recent New York briefing.
“It doesn’t penetrate with the people that are willing to go along with the argument that you have to punish China,” they added.
The Koch network, which is run by globalist libertine ideologues who have supported NAFTA and open borders for decades, is having a difficult time pulling the wool over the eyes of Americans who actually value their national sovereignty more than the almighty dollar.
“I think that we were wrong about how to change this one. We made a bet that the kind of retail, running ads and rallies, that sort of thing, to talk about the coming harm of tariffs, which we know is coming, would be persuasive,” the same official said. “And we were wrong about that.”
The economic doom that the Kochs have claimed was coming has not manifested itself, and 67 percent of Americans believe that China needs to be cut down to size in terms of global trade. The influence-peddling campaign of the Koch network has done nothing to shape public opinion on the issue.
The Kochs are now tasked with devising a new angle to sell to the American public. They are going to start by assembling approximately 100 corporate chieftains to mount a PR campaign for the restoration of the status quo in trade. Their astroturfed network also aims to create 100,000 citizen lobbyists to convince legislators in Washington D.C. to push back against Trump’s agenda.
Meanwhile, the President is preparing to take his trade war to the next level as he remains undaunted by the immense institutional opposition to his policies.
“We cannot go back to a situation where [the U.S.] giving hundreds of billions of dollars to China becomes standard fare. Not going to happen,” Trump said at a North Carolina rally last week.
The Koch network hopes to soften Trump’s resolve if they do not bring an end to his presidency altogether. They have announced that they will not be giving money to assist President Trump’s re-election hopes in 2020, and plan to support Democratic politicians during that crucial election cycle.
Trump is aware of their malign influence and has called the Kochs out publicly as disloyal for their recent abandonment of the Republican Party:
The Koch network may be an even more insidious force working against Trump’s victory in 2020 than the Democratic Party.