Koch network leaders said Thursday that their digital and TV ad blitz that emphasized how Americans could experience financial pain from the tariff fight wasn’t panning out the way they had hoped.Bloomberg:
“The argument that, you know, the tariffs are adding a couple thousand dollars to the pickup truck that you’re buying is not persuasive,” a senior Koch official, who declined to be named, said during a briefing in New York. “It doesn’t penetrate with the people that are willing to go along with the argument that you have to punish China.”
“I think that we were wrong about how to change this one. We made a bet that the kind of retail, running ads and rallies, that sort of thing, to talk about the coming harm of tariffs, which we know is coming, would be persuasive,” the same official said. “And we were wrong about that.”
The leaders then went on to describe what they call a “two steps back strategy,” which will involve putting together a team of almost 100 business leaders to call on the Trump administration and lawmakers to end the trade war with China. Some of these executives have ties to the farming business, an industry that has been negatively impacted by the tariffs.
China hawks in Trump’s administration want Beijing to quit subsidizing strategic industries, yet that hasn’t deterred the White House from doling out billions in aid to American farmers, who have become more dependent on government money than they’ve been in years. At $28 billion so far, the farm rescue is more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, which cost taxpayers $12 billion. And farmers expect the money to keep flowing: In an August survey by Purdue University and the CME Group, 58% said they anticipate another round of trade aid next year.