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.
The Agriculture Department is announcing a $12 billion "short-term" plan to help USA farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs.
Trump is set to visit Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday and will travel to IL and Iowa later in the week - all states that are beginning to see the impact of USA and retaliatory tariffs. This aid package can be authorized without congressional approval because it uses the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation, a Depression-era program authorized to borrow up to $30 billion in order to "stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices".
Details about the bailout plan are scanty at this point, though the Post indicates it will include "direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program". Retaliatory tariffs against the United States have included additional export costs for soybeans, pork, and beef, among other goods and services.
But the plan magnified objections among many Republicans that the tariffs amount to taxes on American consumers. Additionally, the product's final assembly or processing must have taken place in the US.
"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.
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 USA taxpayers. America's farmers don't want to be paid to lose - they want to win by feeding the world.
"Tariffs are the greatest!" he wrote on Twitter. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totaled $335 billion. But conservative critics of the White House's approach said on Tuesday that Trump's move to offer rescue funds to farmers suggests the standoff with other countries won't end soon.
Trump is meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD' YUN'-kur) on Wednesday.
Canada, Mexico and the European Union also struck back at Trump's leveling of USA steel and aluminum tariffs by hitting U.S. exports of agriculture products and other heavily exported United States goods.