Trump offers help to farmers hit by escalating China trade war

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

President Donald Trump is reportedly ready to push forward with a 25-percent tariff on imported cars ahead of a scheduled meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today. "Europe will not be threatened by President Trump If we cede once, we will often have to deal with such behavior in the future".

Trump's willingness to buck the advice of his advisors is evidence of an "increasingly defiant...trade strategy", the Post reports.

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump slammed critics of his trade policies on Wednesday, warning they are undermining his negotiating position while American farmers are being "ripped off".

'Negotiations are going really well, be cool.

Juncker said both sides agreed to "hold off on other tariffs" while talks proceed.

The Trump administration will provide financial assistance to farmers caught in a trade war initiated by the implementation of tariffs.

Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of IL said: "We have never compensated farmers directly on such a large scale for retaliatory tariffs". China purchased $100 million of Washington cherries a year ago, Sandison said.

Trade damage from such retaliation has impacted a host of USA commodities, including field crops like soybeans and sorghum, livestock products like milk and pork, and many fruits, nuts and other specialty crops, it said.

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The second is the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which will buy surplus fruit, nuts, beef, pork and milk to distribute to US food banks and nutrition programs.

With congressional elections coming soon, the government action underscored administration concern about damage to US farmers from Trump's trade tariffs and the potential for losing House and Senate seats in the Midwest and elsewhere. The aid will include direct payments to farmers and ranchers, government purchases of some surplus commodities and helping to develop new export markets overseas. They said they believed that there are few signs talks among senior officials could be resumed soon.

Trump announced that the European Union will be buying "a lot more" soybeans from the USA, and that Brussels and Washington will work to eliminate tariffs, barriers and subsidies on "non-auto industrial goods". Though the Republican said they would happily welcome the political benefits that will come from the farm aid plan, they anxious the damage may already be done with growers whose farm prices and commodity prices have shrunk in recent months.

Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin said the emergency aid for farmers would likely be considered Trump's first taxpayer funded bailout of private entities, an unusual occurrance during a strong economy.

"Our farmers have been in nonstop, saying they want trade, not aid, and now they're being put on welfare", Sen.

He said "prices for farm products are plunging from already very low levels", and called for a support program to mitigate the damage "for years to come".

Canada, Mexico and China - the main target of Mr Trump's trade offensive - also have hit back with steep duties on United States goods, and have filed complaints against Washington at the World Trade Organisation. "I don't think there is enough money in the government to make anybody whole", Ebert said.

"We appreciate the president following through on his pledge that America's farmers won't bear the brunt of the economic losses generated by the current trade conflicts", Mulhern said.

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