USDA announces 3-prong approach to aid farmers

White House readies plan to extend about $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump's escalating trade war

Just hours before the announcement of the aid package, Trump tweeted "Tariffs are the greatest!" and vowed that those who have taken advantage of the United States will have to negotiate a new deal.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the plan would spend billions on "gold crutches". "Tariffs are the greatest!".

Short-term: Perdue said the "one-time" program would help farmers dealing with "illegal retaliation" to U.S. tariffs, reports the Wall Street Journal. "We want more welfare", said Sasse. He's felt the impact of the trade wars directly as milk prices plummeted again this year following a long downward slide. "There's no ambiguity about this from the producers in my state".

Derek Sandison, director of the Washington Department of Agriculture said it's too early to tell how the program could help Washington farmers. "The president's tone regularly suggests somehow that the government has created this bounty". In addition, the government will work to open new markets.

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"The administration is trying to negotiate better trade deals", he said. Furthermore, we are more than 18 months removed from USA withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Officials said the plan would not require congressional approval and would come through the Commodity Credit Corporation, a wing of the department that addresses agricultural prices.

"That's pretty big when you consider that 85 percent of our fruits and vegetables go to the NAFTA countries", Rotz said. "This administration will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly and illegal tariffs". The U.S. and European allies have been at odds over Trump's tariffs on steel imports and are meeting as the trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production. China has retaliated on soybeans and pork, affecting Midwest farmers in a region of the country that supported the president in his 2016 campaign. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totaled $335 billion.

Farmers for Free Trade, an agricultural-industry advocacy group, also criticized the administration's proposal.

But Mr Kirchner said it is unlikely providing aid short term will help fix any of the long-term problems. "I applaud the Administration for taking this needed action, and I am confident that President Trump, Secretary Perdue, and Ambassador Branstad are all working diligently to open China's markets to greater trade in Iowa's agricultural products".

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Farmers and producers should be able to begin signing up for the aid beginning in September. We continue to urge the administration for the swift resolution of our trade negotiations with China and our NAFTA trading partners, as well as pursuing new trade agreements. Most of the companies and business groups that have filed comments are seeking to have goods spared from duties on grounds the tariffs are ultimately a tax on consumers and hamstrings them with their global supply chains.

In the past four months, Trump has imposed tariffs against steel and aluminum imports from China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan, and a range of other countries, and he is threatening to broaden the scope of the tariffs to cars and uranium imports, among other things.

Except it was the trade war Trump - not other world leaders - started that led to the retaliatory tariffs.

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