Farm Subidies

Trump Administration Plans Up to $12 Billion in Farm Aid to Ease Concerns Over Trade Disputes

from The Wall Street Journal,

Announcement of emergency aid to farmers follows president’s tweets hardening stance on tariffs

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced an emergency-aid package of $12 billion for farmers amid growing concerns that the U.S. agricultural sector could suffer from President Donald Trump’s escalating trade dispute with allies. The trade rift between the U.S. and some of its closest allies has prompted retaliations and legal actions following President Trump’s decision earlier this year to impose tariffs of 10% on aluminum imports and 25% on steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday the “one-time” program would help farmers meet losses resulting from “illegal retaliation” to U.S. tariffs, and wouldn’t require congressional approval. “This is a short-term solution that will give President Trump and his administration time to work on long-term trade deals,” Mr. Perdue told reporters.

A number of lawmakers, including many from Mr. Trump’s Republican Party, dismissed the plan as a bailout and called for long-term solutions that benefit American farmers and honor longstanding trade relationships.

China, in response to a series of U.S. tariffs, has levied duties on $34 billion of U.S. products, covering 545 categories, ranging from soybeans, pork, chicken and seafood to sport-utility vehicles and electric vehicles. The farm goods were chosen to hit U.S. states that supported Mr. Trump just months ahead of the midterm elections, according to people with knowledge of Beijing’s plan.

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