Farmers for Free Trade's ad campaign pits farmers against Trump's trade war

Farmers for Free Trade has launched Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, an advertising campaign featuring true stories of how tariffs will damage the country’s agricultural base. 

Targeting TV, radio, print and online sources around the nation, the campaign has kicked off with Rounding Error, a 30-second ad being released on U.S. cable networks.

It examines the disconnect happening between farmers, manufacturers, workers and consumers and Washington D.C., which is being accused of persisting in trade wars that hurt the industry.

“Washington lawmakers are advancing tariffs that cause pain to the very people who drive our economy," Brian Kuehl, executive director for Farmers for Free Trade, said. "That pain will get worse as these policies continue to spur retaliation from other countries. To push back against this advancing trade war, we are going to tell the stories of the jobs, businesses, and consumers who are too often being ignored by the people who make our nation’s policies but fail to consider the real-life cost."  

Other elements of the ad campaign will include town hall meetings, an interactive searchable map where users can see the damage of trade wars in their communities, and a social media focus including videos and infographics. 

“As fourth-generation corn and soybean farmers, our family understands what’s needed for American agriculture to continue to flourish—and it’s not bailouts," Scott Henry of Longview Farms said. "We thought it was necessary to start a campaign like Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, because it didn’t feel like the president could hear us. Clear, consistent policy that respects exports and international trade is the best thing for our work.

“... As our name implies, we take the ‘long view’ when it comes to the business of agriculture.  Policy interference and restricted market access are two surefire ways to hamper innovation and long-term growth. I’ve joined the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, because we clearly need a new way to get through to the president, so he hears our message loud and clear: tariffs hurt us. Clear the path for trade of homegrown agricultural products, and we’ll succeed."

Farmers for Free Trade describes itself as a non-profit, grassroots effort to help revive American agriculture. It is backed by major players in the industry as well as other supporters who are concerned about rural communities.

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