Trump plans $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by trade tarrifs

Vastavam web: The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would provide up to $12 billion in aid for U.S. farmers to shield them from the repercussions felt by trade spats between the United States and China, the European Union and others.China has targeted U.S. agricultural exports with tariffs in retaliation to those imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump, because the majority of voters in the farm states voted for him in the 2016 election.Trump has been talking for months about finding ways to aid farmers as China, in particular, has cancelled orders for soybeans and other crops.

Sonny Perdue, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the relief package will be financed through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation and thus will not require congressional approval.“This obviously is a short-term solution that will give President Trump time to work on a long-term trade policy,” Perdue said.

The Commodity Credit Corporation has broad authority to make loans and direct payments to U.S. growers when prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other agricultural goods are low.“We have to do it,” Trump said, blasting both China and the European Union.“But it’s all working out,” he said. Farmers would ultimately benefit from his approach, he pledged.

Later this week, Trump will visit Iowa and Illinois, two other farm-belt states, as he seeks to shore up support for Republican candidates in those regions.“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and the White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches,” said Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who frequently criticizes the president, a fellow Republican.Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the aid package is “encouraging for the short term.”“What farmers in Iowa and throughout rural America need in the long term are markets and opportunity, not government handouts,” Grassley said.