Farmers prefer Trump do trade deals than hand them cash

26 July, 2018, 02:19 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • President Donald Trump

China, the EU, Canada and Mexico have all filed disputes against the United States in the World Trade Organization, which could authorize the retaliation if it decides the tariffs imposed by Washington were unjustified of violated global trade rules.

Its 150-page report this week lends some support to Trump's claim that Europe has been able to "win" on trade in part because of an undervalued currency.

In a tweet early Wednesday morning, President Trump said, "Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?"

Trump pushed back against critics of his plan on Wednesday, telling them to "be cool" because "the end result will be worth it!"

"I am glad that the administration finally seems to understand that the Trump-Pence tariffs are hurting the American people", said Sen.

Being described as a short-term solution, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will authorise up to $12 billion in programmes, which is in line with the estimated USD 11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural goods.

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

The second is the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which will buy surplus fruit, nuts, beef, pork and milk to distribute to US food banks and nutrition programs.

As part of the initiative to be announced on Tuesday, the USDA is expected to draw on the financial resources of a program known as the Commodity Credit Corporation, which helps shore up US farmers by buying their crops.


The government's action points to administration concern about damage to USA farmers from Trump's trade tariffs and the potential for losing House and Senate seats in the Midwest and elsewhere. They said they believed that there are few signs talks among senior officials could be resumed soon.

"This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire USA economy", said Sonny Perdue, the secretary of agriculture, in a statement.

Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said they look forward to working with Perdue and the USDA over the next month on details for the three programs, which will help farmers weather the trade war in the short term.

A group representing soybean farmers also opposes the administration's plan, and called instead for the elimination of tariffs. "I don't think threats bring us closer to a solution", he told German public TV station ARD on Tuesday.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the Agriculture Department was "trying to put a Band-aid on a self-inflicted wound".

"It's a Band-Aid on a broken leg", said Michael Petefish, a 33-year-old Trump supporter and fifth generation soybean farmer in southern Minnesota. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), calling the tariffs "a massive tax increase on American consumers and businesses" and the emergency aid "welfare to farmers".

For example, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a member of Trump's Republican Party, plans to dispatch his economic development director, Mike Preston, to China before the end of this year.

"There is a tendency for a little bit of Trump piling on", he said.

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