A coalition of various industry houses called Americans for Free Trade has launched a multi-million dollar campaign to target Donald Trump’s decisions to impose trade tariffs that have in turn harmed the American economy. The campaign is working to highlight the voices of Americans negatively impacted by President Trump's trade war.
This broad group comprises of thousands of businesses, farmers, manufacturers and other stakeholders in the U.S. Some of the leading trade organizations involved in this effort are the National Retail Federation, the American Petroleum Institute and agriculture groups in what seems to be a massive unified effort against trade tariffs.
The anti-tariff campaign comes as the Trump administration is preparing to impose new duties on another $200 billion worth of goods apart from the $50 billion in imports from China as part of a restructuring that Washington wants with its trade relationship with Beijing.
The campaign, named Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, will buy ads on TV, radio and online, set up a rapid-response “war room” to fact-check and respond to tariff announcements by the Trump Administration, launch a digital media campaign explaining the economic harm of tariffs and write op-eds and blog posts from Americans bearing the brunt of tariffs.
“Every sector of the U.S. economy stands to lose in a trade war,” said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. National Retail Federation. “The stakes couldn’t be higher for American families, businesses, farmers and workers threatened by job losses and higher prices as a result of tit-for-tat tariffs.”
This campaign has been launched as there are a number of reports from across the U.S. of companies laying off workers as costs have risen on the back of tariffs. America’s largest nail manufacturer, Mid-Continent Nail, became the first company to lay off employees as a result of Trump’s steel tariffs in mid-June. In July, REC Silicon, which produces polysilicon for solar equipment, laid off 100 employees Monday as a “direct result of the ongoing solar trade dispute between China and the United States,” said company officials.
Similarly, carmakers BMW and General Motors each sent letters to the Commerce Department warning that new tariffs could lead to higher car prices and job cuts at their production plants.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another trade industry body has argued in a new campaign that 2.6 million American jobs could be lost as a result of “recent and proposed trade actions by the Trump administration.”