U.S. and European Union should ‘drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies’, Trump says

U.S. and European Union should ‘drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies’, Trump says”

Farmers are a key part of the rural political base that elected Trump, who has promised them they will emerge from a trade war better off.

The president was meeting at the White House later Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other European officials as their trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

The USDA said retaliatory tariffs were disproportionately targeted directly at US farmers, impacting sales of soybeans, sorghum, milk, pork, fruit and nuts.

With congressional elections coming soon, the government action underscored 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.

Trade damage from such retaliation has impacted a host of U.S. commodities, including field crops like soybeans and sorghum, livestock products like milk and pork, and many fruits, nuts and other specialty crops, it said.

Giessel, who grows wheat and corn near the western Kansas community of Larned, said he was "glad they are trying to be doing something, but I don't know when the day is over how much difference it is going to make". They say the industry does not want handouts, but trade deals that will allow exports to grow.

"This is what we feared all along, that these markets would be replaced by handouts", Flake said.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., described the plan as a "misplaced policy" and said farmers are "being put on welfare" because of "ill thought out" tariffs.

China is the largest buyer of US soybeans, importing about $14 billion worth of the legume in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it will use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to 12 billion dollars to help US farmers weather the growing trade war. Officials say the program does not authorize any new funds and thus needs no approval from Congress. It involves direct payments to farmers, the purchase of excess food and trade promotion programs to help create new export markets.

"In his speech to an appreciative audience in Kansas City, Trump was re-emphasizing a theme he had addressed earlier Tuesday on Twitter, when he boasted" "Tariffs are the greatest!"

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said the plan will "provide some temporary assistance".

Before departing for Kansas City, Trump tweeted that US trade partners need to either negotiate a "fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs".

"Trade war? Chinese retaliation to Trump tariffs would hit OH hard", read an April headline in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Trump is giving farmers "golden crutches", while Sen. "I've made it pretty clear, I don't think tariffs are the right answer".

"When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity", he said.

"Tariffs are not great", Toomey told CNBC, echoing Ryan. Growth and wages are already falling because of the tariffs in place, Tax Foundation analysts warn, and it would get worse if Trump piles on more tariffs.

It's unclear which figure Trump is referencing in his tweet.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last week that Mr Juncker could be coming to Washington with a "very important free trade offer", but the commission dismissed that idea. The resolution was seen by some as a signal of restiveness within the GOP on Trump's handling of trade.

Liu Weidong, a United States affairs expert from the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that with just 20 days since the start of the tariffs it was too early to tell if they had been effective.

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