Trump plan will provide billions in aid to farmers hurt by tariffs

Roman Schwartz
July 26, 2018

The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the proposal that would include direct assistance and other temporary relief for farmers, according to two people briefed on the plan, who were not authorized to speak on the record.

Trump is scheduled to speak in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday, and later in the week will visit Iowa and IL, two other agricultural states.

President Donald Trump proclaimed that "Tariffs are the greatest!" in warning USA trade partners that he'll impose more sanctions unless they negotiate a "fair deal" as negotiations with European officials are to get underway at the White House.

"The administration is trying to negotiate better trade deals", he said. 'In the near term is there some relief we can look at?

"Instead of throwing money at a problem we've helped create, the better option is to take action to make it easier for our farmers - and manufacturers - to sell their goods at fair prices to consumers around the world". The funds will go toward programs to assist farmers for losses associated with the tit-for-tat tariffs.

"OK @POTUS - you created this mess with your trade war and now you are going to spend US$12 billion to placate the farmers that voted for you", she tweeted.

And the president has already put tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports in a separate dispute over Beijing's high-tech industrial policies.

Especially hard hit - producers in the American heartland who find their pork, soybeans and other products too expensive to be competitive.

"The actions today are a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in", agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters during a conference call announcing the program. "Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It's as simple as that".

RELATEDTrump to visit Iowa this week as farmers reel from trade war
RELATEDTrump to visit Iowa this week as farmers reel from trade war

Kasich, who ran for president in 2016 and has not ruled out a 2020 bid, called it "completely absurd" for Trump to impose tariffs on products from allies such as Canada under the guise of national security concerns.

That figure apparently refers to the United States trade deficit in goods alone last year, which hit $810 billion last year, while the total deficit including services was $566 billion.

"This is an occasion to de-dramatise any potential tensions around trade and to engage in an open, constructive dialogue", said Juncker's spokesman, Margaritis Schinas.

Trump tomorrow is to meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who will try to dissuade the USA president from escalating the trans-Atlantic trade conflict.

After trade talks at the White House, President Trump and the European Commission President hold an impromptu joint appearance.

"Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the U.S.is a "'piggy bank' that's being robbed".

Deere & Co rose 4 percent in late morning trading, while Caterpillar Inc and AGCO Corp were up almost 2 percent ahead of the expected announcement. But that quote, that doesn't really represent what's happening in trade.

Democratic U.S. representative Jackie Speier of California, a major agricultural state, blasted the Republican president over the reported plan.

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