Trump’s protectionist turn is an unwelcome one, and it’s ushering in a period of great uncertainty for markets and companies. There was a belief — or at least a hope — among some business leaders that Trump wouldn’t do anything to threaten the uptick in economic growth that’s underway, but now they’re not so sure. . . .Business leaders don’t know how to read this new phase of “MAGAnomics,” and they don’t have the same sway over Trump’s inner circle of advisers as they did when former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn and staff secretary Rob Porter, a more traditional Republican, had Trump’s ear.
Leaders of the conservative Koch political network are mad about President Trump’s tariffs, the failure to protect “dreamers” and runaway government spending. They’re frustrated congressional leaders do not feel a greater sense of urgency to pass more ambitious legislation during what could be the final six months of unified Republican control for a long time. And they’re worried that squabbling might derail their efforts to roll back financial regulations, expand access to experimental medicines and overhaul the criminal justice system.For now, the network led by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch still plans to spend between $300 million to $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 cycle. But they’re growing impatient, rethinking their approach and signaling a willingness to work more closely with Democrats on areas of common ground.