To sway Trump on trade, businesses turn to cable TV

In a last-ditch attempt to persuade Mr. Trump to back away from his trade approach, the National Retail Federation has enlisted Ben Stein, the comedic economist famous for his role in the 1980s film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” to offer Mr. Trump economic advice via advertisements that will air on the president’s favorite TV network.

“There’s really an audience of one in this decision making,” said David French, chief lobbyist of the National Retail Federation, which represents the retail industry. “For the president, this will seem like a winning strategy for a long time until it isn’t.”…

Because so much of the power to make decisions on trade is concentrated in the White House, lobbyists are working to get Mr. Trump’s attention directly rather than by canvassing congressional committees. The six-figure purchase will place the commercial on “Fox & Friends,” the Fox News morning show that Mr. Trump watches regularly and often quotes on Twitter. It will also be appear on the comedy show “Roseanne,” which seeks to appeal to Trump voters, and on “Saturday Night Live,” which regularly mocks the president with impersonations by Alec Baldwin.

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