Anyone? Anyone know that Donald Trump’s protectionist tariffs will increase costs for American consumers? That’s the message from U.S. retailers who launched an ad on Monday inspired by a scene from the cult classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Economist and actor Ben Stein ― “Ferris Bueller’s” memorably impassive teacher ― stars in the new ad, explaining that tariffs are “B-A-D economics.”
A “student” in the ad, which you can watch above, suggests that Trump’s tariffs will “raise prices on everything from clothes to cars. I guess it’s pretty serious.”
The ad by the National Retail Federation ends: “Tell Washington: tariffs are B-A-D economics.”
The ad began airing Monday on “Fox & Friends,” and will air this weekend on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and ABC’s “Roseanne.”
The Trump administration has already imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum and newsprint that have raised costs for newspapers and a variety of manufacturers. Experts predict that higher prices will affect all consumers.
Matthew Shay, CEO of the retail federation, warned that a trade war will erase the benefits of tax cuts “and result in higher prices for a wide range of consumer products.”
As for jobs, “the new tariffs are likely to lead to a net loss in U.S. employment,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded in a blog post last month. The post cited an earlier report citing a similar effort in 2002 that cost some 200,000 American jobs.
The steel industry — which the tariffs are expected to help — employs some 140,000 workers. Steel-intensive manufacturers that employ some 2 million workers are expected to be hurt by the tariffs.
Public hearings on the tariffs are planned this week before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Trump, meanwhile, appears to be stepping up to save jobs in China by hinting he’ll remove sanctions against the Chinese phone company ZTE. The issue is likely a bargaining chip in hammering out a new trade understanding with China, The Washington Post notes.
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Donald TrumpTradeTariffsBen SteinProtectionism