Trump to Provide $12 Billion in Aid to Farmers. Critics Cry ‘Welfare!’

President Donald Trump said that the USA and the European Union should drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies, just hours before the bloc's trade chiefs present him with proposals on Wednesday that go a long way toward that outcome in a make or break meeting at the White House.

China and other top USA trade partners zeroed in on American farmers with retaliatory tariffs after the administration imposed duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

American farmers depend on being able to sell overseas, and tariffs make what they produce more expensive.

In interviews with the Herald in China last month, Chinese officials said they were undaunted by Trump's threats to levy increasingly harsh tariffs as high as $500 billion on Chinese goods.

"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!". Remember, we are the "piggy bank" that's being robbed. According to the Wall Street Journal, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican, asked: "At what point do we start seeing things move out of the chaotic state they are in now and to where we actually see new trade agreements?"

He added: "Pretend someone smashed your auto, and then someone said, 'Don't worry, I will give you a ride to the next place you have to go.' Well, thank you, I appreciate the ride, but what am I going to do the next 10 rides I need after that?"

Juncker's visit comes amid an escalating trade war between the USA and the the wake of Trump's decision to slap tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel last month.

"No one has an interest in having punitive tariffs, because everyone loses in the end", he said.

"We hope that it doesn't come to that and that we can find a solution".

It said trading nations like New Zealand work best when everyone agrees on the rules of worldwide commerce, and uncertainty caused by trading disputes is the last thing farmers need.

The program will "assist farmers in response to trade damage caused by illegal retaliatory tariffs", which USDA estimated at $11 billion, Perdue told reporters.

Those affected economies have in turn targeted U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor. Officials said the direct payments could help producers of soybeans, which have been hit hard by retaliation to the Trump tariffs, along with sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and farmers raising hogs.

The bailout plan comes just as voters in several farm states are preparing to cast votes in the midterm elections.

Some Republicans in farm states are dismissing the Trump administration's plan to provide $12 billion in emergency relief in the wake of trade disputes between the USA and other countries, particularly China. 'If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers - the answer is remove the tariffs'.

Trump had offered a similar sentiment Tuesday evening, when he suggested on Twitter the European Union and US drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies - although he predicted that the bloc would not be ready for such a proposal. The USDA said it planned to roll out some of those details around Labor Day and the program would begin to make payouts after the fall harvest. He grows about 25,000 bushels of soybeans a year, so if the price goes down $2, that costs him around $50,000.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall welcomed the aid, saying it "should help many of our farmers and ranchers weather the rough road ahead and assist in their dealings with their financial institutions".

  • Zachary Reyes