Economy

Trump’s $12B agriculture relief package is ‘farm welfare’: Kennedy

Trump’s $12B agriculture relief package is ‘farm welfare’: Kennedy”

Trump has said current trade policy disadvantages USA farmers and manufacturers, and supporters say US tariffs slapped on billions of dollars of imports are a necessary step to negotiate better deals.

Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, said in a statement, "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again".

The White House has searched for months for a way to provide emergency assistance to farmers without backing down on Trump's trade agenda, and the new program will extend roughly $12 billion through three different mechanisms run by the Department of Agrigulture.

In a tweet Tuesday, the president said "countries who have treated us unfairly on trade are all coming to Washington to negotiate".

The planned mix of direct payments to farmers, commodity purchases for food-aid programs, and stepped up promotion of new export markets buoyed markets looking for new sources of demand for US products.

"Profitability is a major concern for Illinois corn farmers and declining commodity prices certainly aren't helping the bottom line", said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Aron Carlson, a farmer from Winnebago, Ill. Trump said. "Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won't!" he said. Canada, China and Mexico are the three biggest buyers of USA farm goods, accounting for 43 percent of purchases in 2017.

The administration has so far downplayed the impact of Trump's ratcheting up of trade tensions on USA producers by emphasizing the long-term benefits of his efforts to even out USA trade relationships.

Cramer testified before the U.S. Trade Representative's office during a public hearing Tuesday, where he welcomed "strong defensive actions" against China's "unfair trade practices" that he argued previous administrations have failed to curtail.

Such duties, Braillie said, would harm more than 4,000 businesses and jeopardise the tens of billions of dollars the industry contributes to the U.S. economy.

The administration is keenly aware of the backlash in some Republican circles over the tariffs on steel, aluminum and $34 billion worth in Chinese imports. "We're opening up markets". "I was in a White House in the early 2000s when then-President Bush did steel tariffs and those tariffs turned out to be a bad policy error and were reversed". Farm-state lawmakers often say they would prefer trade rather than aid.

The Trump administration's plan is a direct acknowledgement that Trump's trade war is hurting US businesses. "So the tariff policies that have been put in place by the administration are now causing them to invoke a welfare policy for our farmers which I'm sure is not what they wish".

Agriculture officials said the payments couldn't be calculated until after harvests come in.

"Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers", he wrote. "And to be blunt, it seems pretty political and seems like they want to shore up some midterm support". But he acknowledged China's retaliatory tariffs have hit farmers and manufacturers in his state. Pete Hanebutt, the North Dakota Farm Bureau's public policy director, hesitated to comment on the aid package Tuesday afternoon until he learned more about it.



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