Farmers for Free Trade, the bipartisan coalition that’s leading farmer opposition to tariffs, announced on July 26 the launch of Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. This new, multi-million dollar campaign will highlight the widespread economic pain the trade war causes for middle America, particularly American farmers, manufacturers, workers, and consumers.

The first ad in this new campaign against tariffs highlights the disconnect between those Americans who are suffering the consequences of the trade war and Washington, D.C., where White House trade advisor Peter Navarro recently called the impacts of tariffs merely a “rounding error.” To see the ad, visit

“This coordinated campaign will tell the real-life stories of American farmers, manufacturers, factory workers, and families who have been hurt by the on-going trade war through loss of jobs, cancelled contracts, and increased prices,” said Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade. “Washington lawmakers are advancing tariffs that cause pain to the very people who drive our economy. That pain will get worse as these policies continue to spur retaliation from other countries. To push back against this advancing trade war, we are going to tell the stories of the jobs, businesses, and consumers who are too often being ignored by the people who make our nation’s policies but fail to consider the real-life cost.”

In addition to paid television, digital radio, digital and print advertising, the campaign will also: 


  • Stand up a full time rapid-response media operation to share stories of tariff impacts across the country and oppose trade policies that are harming American families,
  • Host town hall meetings throughout August recess and into the fall to hear directly from Americans who are bearing the brunt of the trade war,
  • Launch an interactive searchable map so that visitors to can see the impacts of tariffs in their states and Congressional districts,
  • Drive the conversation about tariff impacts on social media through infographics, videos and other media highlighting real-life stories of tariff pain. 

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign’s first TV ad

The campaign’s first advertisement was released today, and will run on Fox News, CNBC, and CNN, as well as in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, before running in additional states. The 30 second spot, entitled “Rounding Error” includes comments made last Thursday on CNBC by White House Director of Trade Policy Peter Navarro, who said that “the amount of trade that we’re effecting with the tariffs is a rounding error.”

The ad contrasts Navarro’s statement, which the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently called “out of touch,” with headlines from across the country of farmers, factory, workers, consumers, and rural communities who are feeling the pain of the trade war. The ad implores the President to end the trade war.

Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan, non-profit campaign to rebuild support at the grassroots level for trade policies that benefit American agriculture. Farmers for Free Trade, which is backed by major ag organizations, businesses and commodity groups in addition to other supporters who are concerned about the consequences of tariffs and retaliation on rural communities. Farmers for Free Trade will be inviting other stakeholders and impacted industry groups in the coming weeks to join the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign.