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Parody "Ferris Bueller" ad an appeal to Trump and supporters

Trade war fears with China
Trade war fears with China 01:46

One of the nation's largest trade groups is hoping to teach President Trump a lesson.

Part of a lobbying effort against proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, the National Retail Federation is out with an advertising campaign starring Ben Stein, a supporter of the president, in which he revives his role from the 1986 film, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Playing an economics teacher, the actor and conservative commentator makes the case that tariffs are "B-A-D Economics" and harm consumers, part of a last-ditch effort to sway Mr. Trump away from his protectionist plan.

The pitch comes as the Office of the United States Trade Representative on Tuesday begins three days of hearings on the proposed tariffs and as China's top economic official prepares to arrive in Washington, D.C., for more talks. 

"We support the administration's goal of changing China's unfair trade practices, but tariffs are the wrong approach and will only drive up prices for American consumers," NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

Ben Stein as Economic Teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" by News Guy on YouTube

The NRF on Monday starting airing the television commercial in Washington on shows such as "Fox and Friends," which Mr. Trump is known to watch. It's also running online ads nationwide in a public relations campaign aimed at the president and his supporters.

In the movie directed by John Hughes, Stein babbles on to his class of bored teens, relaying how the Republican-controlled House passed the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act of 1930 in a failed attempt to mitigate the fallout of the Great Depression.

The NRF's 30-second spoof parrots the scene and closes with Stein pronouncing: "Tariffs raise taxes on hard-working Americans. It's not complicated. Tariffs are B-A-D economics, bad economics. Bad." 

Ben Stein Recreates Tariff Lesson From ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in NRF Parody Ad Campaign by BusinessWire on YouTube

The ads will also be shown in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during an airing of "Rosanne" and on "Saturday Night Live" in Washington, according to the NRF.

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