President Donald Trump's aggressive trade policies, including tariffs on several billions of dollars in imported goods, have prompted many of his fellow Republicans to speak out. One GOP political advocacy group is treating the trade war as a full-blown emergency.
"We are the guys with the road flares. Remember 'The Rock' movie with Nicolas Cage?" said Scott Lincicome, a senior policy advisor at Defending Democracy Together, as he described the group's plans to fight the tariffs. "We are standing there with the flares begging the planes to stop and not drop the bombs."
Defending Democracy Together has already shelled out $50,000 to produce some ads aimed at the Trump trade policy, including one video using a speech from President Ronald Reagan in which he celebrates the idea of free trade and criticizes the concept of protectionism.
But now the group is preparing to put a human face on the trade war, namely its impact on the middle class -- and is looking to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars until Trump takes the tariffs off the table.
The group hopes to interview hundreds of people who work in a variety of industries that are getting hurt by trade retaliation from China and U.S. allies, such as those working in the farm or steel industry.
"You never hear the stories of people like the small businesses that opened due to the international trade of raw materials," Lincicome said. "I think it's really critical to talk to the people, whose daily lives and businesses are being put at risk by these tariffs and to show that it isn't just numbers or Wall Street. These are everyday people."
The group wants to use these first-person accounts in television and digital ads, as well as in op-eds and articles on its website, Lincicome added.