Trump administration plans $12 billion bailout for United States farmers hurt by tariffs

Sean Reid
July 24, 2018

But it is a bit novel to hit farmers with one hand and then offer them compensation with the other, and it could even expose the U.S.to sanctions by the World Trade Organization for supplying the same sorts of illegal subsidies of which Trump likes to complain. The imposition of punishing tariffs on imported goods has been a favoured tactic by Trump, but it has prompted US trading partners to retaliate, creating risks for the economy.

The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the plan later Tuesday.

The $12 billion will reportedly come in the form of direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said lawmakers are making the case to Trump that tariffs are "not the way to go".

The $12 billion in funding will arrive through direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program, all paid for by US taxpayers.


But the plan magnified objections among many Republicans that the tariffs amount to taxes on American consumers.

"This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House's "plan" is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches", Sasse said in a statement Tuesday.

They include such iconic American brands as Campbell Soup and Lockheed-Martin - which will have a model F-35 fighter jet on the White House lawn - to obscure manufacturers who make wine, brooms, horseshoes and animal feed.

"Tariffs are the greatest!" the president wrote on Twitter.


Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, saying they pose a threat to USA national security, an argument that allies such as the European Union and Canada reject.

Trump is tweeting that trade partners need to either negotiate a "fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs". Trump has threatened to ratchet that up to more than $500 billion, a move that has left financial markets uneasy.

Trump's tweet comes as he is scheduled to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Washington tomorrow for talks aimed at heading off a trade war.

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.


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