By Chris Adams

As the Trump administration sets the stage for a trade war, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its big-business members are pushing back. In a National Press Foundation session, the chamber’s John Murphy explained why.

Murphy went over the impact of trade on the U.S. economy for the last several decades, showing how imports and exports mostly rose from the 1960s on, although they have stalled in recent years.

The Chamber’s view is spelled out on its website: “Trade Works. Tariffs Don’t.” That has put the chamber at odds with a Republican White House – traditionally an ally – that in 2018 is working to place tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese imports, as well as potentially adding tariffs on autos and auto parts.

Murphy also detailed the impact of trade on a state-by-state basis, sharing with journalists the Chamber’s resources available to show how much local economies are dependent on trade. Clicking on a certain state will show how many jobs there are supported by international trade, the percentage of exports that go to free-trade agreement nations, the dollar value of those exports and the top export markets.

Murphy detailed the Trump administration’s attitude on trade, based on statements from the president and members of the Cabinet.