Freedom Partners, an organization that's part of the influential Koch network, is launching a six-figure television and radio ad campaign that will target the import tariffs being implemented by the Trump administration. The ads will also call on Congress to embrace free trade and not follow the course of the current White House trade policies.
"To keep growing, we must keep trading," the ad says. "Tariffs are not the answer. Tell Washington: Support Freedom. Oppose Tariffs."
The TV ads are set to air in the Washington, D.C., area while radio will be broadcasted on national and conservative talk radio programs across the country starting Monday.
Freedom Partners, along with two other Koch network groups — Americans for Prosperity and the Libre Initiative — are sending a letter to Congress on Wednesday asking them to support the Global Trade Accountability Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. The legislation requires Congress to review and approve any tariffs that are proposed by the executive branch.
"Tariffs are taxes that make Americans poorer. They raise our cost of living and force higher expenses on our businesses. Just consider the working families paying much more for a new washing machine or the locker manufacturer that now must consider outsourcing U.S. jobs overseas," James Davis, vice president of Freedom Partners, said in a statement. "These ads are an important part of our overall campaign, which also includes significant plans for grassroots mobilization and public education," he added.
The announcement of the first phase of the Koch network campaign comes two days after Trump ordered the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.
On Monday, the White House said the new trade barriers will go into effect "if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced."
Allies also haven't fared well under the Trump tariff policies.
Canada has retaliated with equal trade levies while Mexico has imposed tariffs against a variety of U.S. exports valued at $3 billion.
The E.U. is moving ahead with a response. It has said it could slap trade duties on products from Harley Davidson motorcycles to jeans.