Trump’s financial aid offer to farmers criticized as tax-funded ‘welfare’

Thursday, 26 Jul, 2018

Juncker said both sides will hold off further tariffs while negotiations continue.

US President Donald Trump took a pessimistic view of talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker set for Wednesday aimed at averting a trade war.

He said this was a "short-term" solution to help farmers and give President Donald Trump time to negotiate a longer term trade deal to help agriculture and other sectors hurt by unfair trading practices by China and others.

"Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with tariffs".

Trump is also pushing back against critics of his latest plan to provide $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers, telling them to "be cool" because "the end result will be worth it!"

On Twitter, Trump said people "snipping at your heels during a negotiation" will only delay the process. Remember, we are the "piggy bank" that's being robbed.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it would tap an existing program to provide $12 billion in direct payments and other assistance to farmers and ranchers hurt by foreign retaliation to Trump's tariffs. He has also singled out the European Union as a "foe" of the US because of its trade surplus.

"We will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates this negotiation", the U.S. president said, adding that the next step will be to withdraw USA tariffs on aluminum and steel imposed in May, as well as European Union retaliatory tariffs that followed.

"While we're grateful the administration is doing something, we're hopeful these tariff issues will be resolved soon because farmers would rather trade than take aid", said Joel Rotz, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau spokesman.

The retaliatory tariffs have already been felt across America's Farm Belt. "Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won't!"

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Additionally, American goods shipped overseas are being slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which can affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops, it said.

Ryan said he understands Trump is seeking "a better deal for Americans" but added the US should instead "work together to reduce trade barriers and trade restrictions between our countries".

"Our farmers have been in nonstop, saying they want trade, not aid, and now they're being put on welfare", Sen.

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

It's unclear how the need for such an aid package squares with Trump's boast on Tuesday that "tariffs are the greatest" or his insistence in March that "trade wards are good and easy to win".

Some key farm-state lawmakers, such as Sen.

Soybeans are down 10.22% this year through Tuesday. "The administration's trade aid plan is also a bid to shore up support among a slice of the rural electorate ahead of the midterm elections", Politico said.

Rules for the programs have not been fully developed, and an exact date for rollout has not been determined, though Ibach said officials are targeting Labor Day.

The government's purchases of excess crops would not require congressional approval and would come through the Commodity Credit Corporation, a wing of the Agriculture Department.