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Billionaire Koch brothers take on Trump over tariffs

08 June 2018

David Koch, one of the two billionaire brothers at the helm of the powerful conservative political network in the U.S., is retiring from his family's conglomerate, Koch Industries, and stepping down as chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. He was hospitalized in the summer of 2016 and the issues have not been resolved, according to a June 4th memo that Charles Koch sent to employees. At recent twice-a-year gatherings for likeminded patrons of these groups, David Koch has been noticeably absent.

David Koch will now become director emeritus at Koch Industries.

The billionaire is 78 years old and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992.

In an April interview with the Washington Examiner, Charles Koch described his younger brother this way: "David is much more political than I am".

David ran as a Libertarian candidate for president in 1980, and together the Koch brothers made large contributions to the Republican Party in 2010, facilitating the party's rise in the House of Representatives in that year's elections. He also is retiring from his roles at Koch Industries, the Kansas-based conglomerate run by his brother Charles.

The announcement came just one day after the Koch-backed political network announced a multimillion dollar publicity campaign to Donald Trump's controversial tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Businessman David Koch arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala 2015 celebrating the opening of "China: Through the Looking Glass", in Manhattan, New York May 4, 2015. The Koch network has plans to spend up to $400 million on politics and policy initiatives during the 2018 midterm election cycle.

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The Koch brothers, David and Charles, are political activists and heavyweight donors behind a political network that has often favoured conservative politicians.

"We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success", Holden said.

David Koch, who now lives in NY, was raised in Wichita, Kansas.

He added: "David has never wanted anything for himself that he hasn't earned, as his sole desire has always been to contribute". For instance, he provided $217 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, including $150 million for a new outpatient medical facility.

Charles Koch, who will stay on as chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, said his brother was "instrumental" in expanding the business they inherited from their father "1,000 fold" and branching out beyond energy into a host of other products. According to Forbes, the company, which was founded in 1940, had $100 billion in revenue in 2017, making it the second-largest privately held American company.

"Due to health reasons, David Koch will be resigning from the board of the AFP Foundation".

Billionaire Koch brothers take on Trump over tariffs