US Chamber of Commerce Opposes Border Shutdown, Supports ‘New NAFTA Agreement’ to End Tariffs

The US Chamber of Commerce is not happy about President Donald Trump’s threats to close down the US southern border, and the organization is using its tremendous lobbying power to curtail Trump on immigration and trade issues.

“Even threatening to close the border to legitimate commerce and travel creates a degree of economic uncertainty that risks compromising the very gains in growth and productivity that policies of the Trump administration have helped achieve,” said Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer.

Thomas Donahue, CEO for the US Chamber of Commerce, appeared on CNBC yesterday where he attempted to downplay his organization’s opposition to the President’s agenda. Still, he expressed some concerns with Trump’s tough talk on Mexico.

“We don’t want to shut down the people that come to the United States everyday to work here across the border that we need. We don’t want to shut down the trade,” Donahue said.

Although Donahue admitted that the migrant crisis at the border is substantial and that “the house is full,” the Chamber is still lobbying President Trump to moderate his trade and immigration policies.

“I think we have conveyed to the President some of the issues he should be thinking about,” Donahue said.

Donahue hopes that Trump’s strong rhetoric on the border is mostly to garner attention and not a serious public policy proposal. He also wants Trump’s trade war with China to conclude as quickly as possible.

“I am not in all of the trade issues enamored with tariffs because, as you know, they’re all paid for by American companies,” Donahue said, in direct opposition to Trump’s trade policy.

“You buy a million dollars worth of steel somewhere that has a tariff on it, you send a check for a quarter of a million dollars to the US government,” Donahue said, deriding the effect of Trump’s policies.

Additionally, Donahue hopes that Congress will pass a “new NAFTA agreement” so Trump’s tariffs can be brought to an end.

The Chamber, along with Koch Industries and other globalist lobbying interests, have driven the pro-trade, open immigration status quo of the Republican Party for decades. Donahue’s comments make it clear that the Chamber’s agenda has not changed in the Trump era.

“Immigrants have long been a vital part of our economy, and they can help fill those gaps now…. Our nation must continue to attract and welcome the world’s most industrious and innovative people and finally fix our broken immigration system,” Donahue said last year.

“The United States is fundamentally out of people,” Donohue said.

The lobbying push by the Chamber toward Trump to persuade him to abandon his electoral mandate seems to be working as Trump’s rhetoric on immigration has shifted drastically in recent months.

Organizations like the Chamber are never going to make it easy to repel globalism from the Republican Party.