Koch-backed group hits tariffs on TV, radio ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Indiana

August 30, 2018

A group affiliated with the conservative Koch network is confronting President Trump’s campaign trip to southern Indiana Thursday with radio and TV ads opposing the administration’s tariffs.

Freedom Partners is airing a spot in Indiana television markets called “Trade Builds America.”

“To keep growing, we must keep trading,” the narrator states. “Tariffs are not the answer.”

Mr. Trump will hold a campaign rally Thursday night in Evansville for GOP Senate candidate Mike Braun, a businessman who is challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

Mr. Braun has said he trusts the president’s decisions on tariffs. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the tariffs, has decided not to endorse a candidate in the Senate race for the first time in a decade.

In a blog post, Freedom Partners said Indiana exported $37.8 billion worth of goods in 2017, and that trade supports more than 180,000 jobs in the state. The group cited examples of Indiana companies that have laid off workers due to rising costs of steel and aluminum from tariffs, and of farmers hurt by retaliatory foreign tariffs on soybeans.

Mr. Trump announced a tentative revised trade deal this week with Mexico, and has given Canada until Friday to agree to a major revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He predicted the results will be a “big hit” with U.S. employers and workers, including farmers.

Update hourly