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Foreign Carmakers Invoke Reagan To Sway Trump On Trade

By in Huffington Post on June 16, 2017

By Daniel Marans

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s promises to radically rewrite American trade policy helped him win in the industrial Midwest, dealing a blow to the elite, business-friendly consensus on the issue. But thus far, Trump’s protectionist talk has been more bark than bite ― and now big businesses with a key stake in the status quo are fighting to keep it that way.

Most recently, leading Asian and European carmakers, most of whom have large U.S. workforces, released a video advertisement touting their contributions to the U.S. economy that makes the case for keeping international trade barriers low.

The minute-long ad by the Association of Global Automakers, a trade group that represents foreign car companies, shows footage of workers producing cars at facilities for several of the manufacturers ― Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Volkswagon, Subaru and Nissan ― as a narrator extols the accomplishments of the auto manufacturers.

What’s more, it explicitly emulates the famous “Morning in America” television spot from former Republican President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign.

“It’s morning again ― for auto manufacturing in America,” the narrator begins, with the music from Reagan’s original ad in the background.

The conceit of the ad is that “international” carmakers, as the Association of Global Automakers calls its member companies with headquarters in non-American locales, are now as integral a part of the American landscape as the suburban families in Reagan’s ad.

The ad debuted during NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month. The AGA declined to say how large of an ad buy it was making other than by noting it is the largest purchase in the […]    

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