‘Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’ Aims at Trump

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Better late than never. A group of businesses has launched an initiative called “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.” It is part of a larger initiative by American businesses that hope President Trump will back down from hundreds of billions of tariffs he will place on imports, particularly from China.

In a video campaign “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,” the group says that American workers, from farmers to factory workers, are not a “rounding error” in an economy that could spin downward because of a trade war. The effect was always a possibility from the time the president first made it clear his trade policy would be driven by tariffs.

The primary message the group sends in the video is that the U.S. economy and jobs are at stake. Experts have argued this for months. However, for some businesses, it appears to be an epiphany. And the campaign is only days before tariffs start to bite.

The other side of the argument is that tariffs will add jobs to the U.S. economy. Only recently the president suggested Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) move production into the United States from Asia. In theory, this would add manufacturing jobs in America. It would also increase Apple’s “costs of goods sold” and force the company to raise prices. That, in turn, could undermine demand for Apple products, which would hurt Apple’s profits and its ability to support more jobs.

Tariffs may hurt the heartland. They also will hurt tech and other higher-end businesses that help fuel the U.S. economy. For the time being, some new tariffs have gone into place, or will soon. “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland” will get to prove its point while jobs are already likely to be bleeding out of the economy.