U.S. manufacturers are not about to drop their objections to President Trump’s ill-considered steel and aluminum tariffs. Those tariffs are likely to spark a trade war with the E.U. that could lead to higher prices for both manufacturers and consumers, as well as retaliatory tariffs and blocked foreign markets for manufacturers. Now, borrowing a page from the group Farmers for Free Trade, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is targeting an anti-tariff ad right where it is most likely to reach President Trump – on his beloved television programs, especially Fox & Friends, which Trump loves for its pro-Trump propaganda, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which Trump loves to hate. According to The Hill:
The spot will run on “Fox & Friends,” “Morning Joe” and “Hannity” as well as on digital platforms, AEM said…The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) will run a 30-second ad for the next several weeks featuring manufacturing employees directly warning Trump and other top administration officials that the tariffs will hurt their industries and make it harder to compete with foreign companies…”Save manufacturing jobs and say no to steel tariffs,” the ad says.
The ad starts out praising Trump’s tax plan before objecting to the steel tariffs, because compliments are also one of the best ways to reach Trump. Here is the 30-second ad from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM):
The AEM indicates that it is already experiencing increased steel prices just on the expectation of Trump’s steel tariffs, which are due to be put into effect this week, so that their business is already being hurt even before the steel tariffs are enacted. AEM President Dennis Slater said in a statement, according to The Hill, “It’s not too late for President Trump to reverse course on steel tariffs. That is why our board decided to make a substantial investment in launching this campaign to urge the president to steer away from tariffs that will ultimately hurt equipment manufacturers and cost American jobs.”
Farmers for Free Trade launched a similar ad campaign opposing Trump’s proposed tariffs last week, to be broadcast during Trump’s favorite TV shows. Farmers fear that other countries will impose retaliatory tariffs on their products in response to Trump’s metals tariffs. The E.U. has already stated that if Trump goes through with imposing the steel and aluminum tariffs on them, they will respond with tariffs on American corn, orange juice, cranberries, and peanut butter, among other commodities. President Trump’s protectionist strategies are outdated in a global economy where free trade has proven to be highly effective. If Trump does spark a trade war, U.S. manufacturers and U.S. consumers will be the ones to pay the price.