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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Brothers Koch and Donald Trump


According to Forbes magazine, the Koch brothers have a fortune estimated at US $ 60,000 million and they fight closely eighth in the list of the richest in the United States. Initially known for their support of Republicans, they now seem not to be in good terms with Donald Trump. Should the president take it as a warning?

The powerful brothers Charles and David Koch, friends with the United States president Donald Trump, are to finance a multimillion-dollar campaign against the taxes that the so-called leader of the world has imposed on the products of several countries. Three political organizations supported by the Koch brothers (Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The FREE Initiative) announced that they will use advertising, lobbying and other tools to defend the benefits of free trade.

The announcement comes days after Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico, Canada and the European Union. The decision caused the condemnation of the affected countries, which consider it a protectionist and unjustified measure. According to international media, the political organizations network of the Koch brothers has been a reliable source of funding for Republicans for more than a decade. When Donald Trump became the nominee of the Republican Party, the money remained open for conservative candidates, although the Koch's focus was on candidates for Congress. Since the surprise victory of Trump, Charles and David Koch have sought points of agreement with the president - especially in the tax reform - but they are still far from being political twin souls.

Now that Trump has played the drums of a trade war, relations between the magnates and the nationalist-populist president have become increasingly tense, although it has not yet been transformed into a political war. The campaign proposed by the organizations of the Koch brothers points in the direction of a "friendly warning" and not a hostile criticism. But the move is accompanied by efforts in Congress to limit the new tariffs.

The Republican Party has embraced free trade advocates who highlight the economic benefits of globalization and international competition. Trump is trying to modify those principles, but in his way, he is winning fights with opponent’s owners of great fortunes. Koch Industries - the second largest private company in the United States - has interests ranging from oil to paper towels. In the halls of the White House, when Barack Obama was in office, there was talk of the "Kochtopus": a mixture of the surname of the brothers and the word octopus in English, about the "tentacles" of political influence. Some analysts such as Charles Lewis, a professor at American University, have said that the brothers represent the politically active company "most powerful and certainly more hyperactive" in the country. Should Trump fear them?