Ranked as the 6th richest person in the world with a net worth of $60.8 billion, when energy mogul Charles Koch speaks, people usually listen.
The co-founder of Koch Industries headquartered in Wichita, Kansas is critical of President Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Writing in a Washington Post op-ed, Koch said the tariffs would “do far more harm than good for the U.S.”
“Just as the United States benefits from the ideas and skills that opportunity-seeking immigrants bring with them, free trade has been essential to our society’s prosperity and to people improving their lives,” Koch wrote in his op-ed. “Countries with the freest trade have tended to not only be the wealthiest but also the most tolerant. Conversely, the restriction of trade — whether through tariffs, quotas or other means — has hurt the economy and pitted people against each other.”
He contends the President’s proposed tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum will hurt Americans by raising prices and undoing the benefits of the tax cuts and reforms signed into law by President Trump.
Koch contends consumers and not companies will bear the brunt of the tariff hikes.
“Without a doubt, those who can least afford it will be harmed the most. Having just helped consumers keep more of their money by passing tax reform, it makes little sense to take it away via higher costs,” Koch wrote. “Tariffs will only perpetuate the rigged system that threatens the very core of our society. When large companies can pressure politicians to force everyday Americans to fork over unearned millions, we should all question the fairness of the system.”
Koch predicted the tariff increases will ultimately hurt job creation and result in a net loss of jobs even as corporation s benefit financially.
“Policies must benefit everyone, not just the few,” he said.