White House unveils $12 billion aid plan for farmers impacted by trade war

July 26, 2018

On July 24, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue revealed details of an emergency plan that would extend $12 billion in aid to farmers in ten states hit by retaliatory tariffs caused by the Trump administration’s escalating trade war with China, Axios reported.

However, word has come back from the sector that the farmers “want trade, not aid,” according to a report by Newser.

The funding for the expensive program would come partially from a USDA branch called the Commodity Credit Corporation, which was founded during the Depression to help farmers, according to a July 25 story by The Washington Post. Because this is an existing program, approval by Congress would not be necessary.

Farm groups–including producers of soybeans, corn, and hogs—would begin seeing payments by September. Perdue said the “one-time” program, which would be “short-term,” would help farmers dealing with “illegal retaliation” to U.S. tariffs, The Wall Street Journal noted. The Ag Secretary said that the program would give the administration time to work on a longer-term trade solution.

According to Axios, China recently retaliated against Trump’s tariffs with duties on soybeans and pork—affecting 10 farming states, nine of which voted for Trump in 2016.

According to a poll conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal—and posted by  CNBC on July 22—voters do not approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of foreign trade policy. Roughly half say Trump’s tariffs will raise consumer prices and hurt the average American, while only one-quarter say they will protect jobs and help the average person.

Research contact: @mmurraypolitics

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