Over 60 American industry groups formed the "Americans for Free Trade" coalition Wednesday to hit back at US president Donald Trump's global trade war, Reuters reports.
The group's emergence comes amid public backlash towards Trump's reliance on multibillion-dollar trade tariffs to blackmail countries into concessions, with industry leaders now speaking out.
"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,'" Nicole Vasilaros, head lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said.
Members of her lobby represent the boating industry and are mulling mass layoffs after incurring up to 35 percent price hikes.
The NMMA met with US vice president Mike Pence's office Monday to "discuss the importance of free and fair trade", arguing that tariffs were having a negative impact "on multiple fronts" the boating industry and citing rising marine materials and parts, as well as freezes on US boat exports.
"There has been a lot of work that has been going on over the last eight months to try to persuade the president and the administration that tariffs are not going to work," mentioned Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council in Washington, DC. "Our view is that it's not too late."
Garfield's organization represents powerful interests from Microsoft, Google parent company Alphabet, and Apple. Garfield has also voiced concerns about Trump's dismantling of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
"Replacing this agreement with one or two bilateral agreements negates NAFTA's benefits and risks harming American companies, workers and consumers," Garfield said in an August 31 statement. "Any such changes to the existing NAFTA agreement would be highly disruptive to global supply chains and to the regional economy.
— ITI (@ITI_TechTweets) 12 September 2018
The coalition represents some of America's largest companies, including the American Petroleum Institute, who advocates interests from oil and gas giants like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, as well as the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Reuters states.
Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 in Chinese goods, ranging from electronic parts, semiconductors, and machinery on June 15. Washington has accused Beijing of stealing US intellectual property and has lamented about paying high-tech industry subsidies.
The US president also plans to slap an additional $200 billion on Chinese consumer goods while threatening a further $267 billion, covering every Chinese export to the US. China has vowed to retaliate, including taking action against US companies operating in China.