Trump administration announces US$12 billion aid plan for American farmers

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the plan will help a broad number of farmers deal with the cost of "disruptive markets" as US trading partners have retaliated for President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported goods.

It will rely in part on a Depression-era program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, a division of the Agriculture Department that was created in 1933 to offer a financial backstop for farmers. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said lawmakers are making the case to Trump that tariffs are "not the way to go".

Sasse, a Republican, represents thousands of farmers in the Cornhusker State, and said that his constituents "don't want to be paid to lose" but "want to win by feeding the world".

"These countries have been ripping us off for decades", he said. "The restrictions we face in critical markets such as Mexico and China - our top two export markets by volume previous year - have placed American pig farmers and their families in dire financial straits". You watch what's going to happen. "Just be a little patient".

Agriculture officials said the payments couldn't be calculated until after harvests come in. "They should do this by working with Congress to ensure farm bill programs provide enough assistance to farmers when markets collapse". "I don't think there is enough money in the government to make anybody whole", Ebert said.

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President Trump showed off a new campaign hat on Monday-it's green with yellow letters, reminiscent of the John Deere logo, and it reads "Make Our Farmers Great Again", notes Politico.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon imposed a 10 per cent import tax for four months to pressure Japan and European countries to drive up the value of their currencies. They are meant to protect domestic businesses and put foreign competitors at a disadvantage.

"Many U.S. products face market barriers overseas". Responding in kind, Beijing slapped tariffs worth $34 billion on 545 American goods.

The new plan at the Agriculture Department would advance emergency funds for these farmers but likely not provide a long-term solution if the trade disputes with China and other countries persist.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said the administration's move was "encouraging for the short term".

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Earlier this month, soy farmers in North Dakota told the Bismarck Tribune that they were facing massive losses this year if the president didn't negotiate a deal to reopen Chinese markets to their crops. Cramer has been more defensive of the administration's policies, although he has expressed a distaste for tariffs.

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

Although the aid package acknowledges the problems tariffs have created for American farmers, President Trump appeared unlikely to end the ever-escalating trade war.

China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have all been hit by USA levies on some of their imports, including steel and aluminum, and have retaliated by placing their own tariffs on US agricultural exports, targeting farm states that are politically important to the president. "It's as simple as that". Rural voters - many who have deep ties to farming - helped catapult Trump to the presidency in 2016, and China's retaliatory tariffs specifically targeted politically important states and areas.

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