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Trump planning aid for farmers in trade war crosshairs

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  • President Donald Trump is preparing to provide billions
    in emergency aid for farmers who are caught up in the middle of
    his administration’s trade battles.
  • The White House is expected to make the announcement of
    the $12 billion plan on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump is preparing to provide billions in
emergency aid for farmers caught in the crosshairs of his
administration’s various burgeoning trade battles.

The White House is expected to make the announcement of the $12
billion plan on Tuesday, according to
The Washington Post
.

Farmers have said retaliatory moves by other countries in
response to the president’s trade policies could cost them
billions of dollars. It has led to fear among Republicans of
economic and political blowback to Trump’s policies, according to
the report, as the party looks to avoid significant losses in the
midterm elections this November.

US agricultural products have been a key target for trading
partners in response to tariffs the Trump administration has
imposed on steel, aluminum, and about $34 billion worth of
Chinese goods. As a result, Republicans and business groups have
complained to Trump that his trade policies are hurting the
economy. 

Tuesday’s expected announcement of emergency aid to farmers
through the Department of Agriculture comes amid a search to find
a way to alleviate the concerns of farmers and industry groups
without sacrificing Trump’s protectionist policies.

The emergency aid will be provided to farmers through direct
assistance, a government food purchase and distribution program,
and a trade promotion program. It would be done in part through a
division of the Agricultural Department that was created to
provide financial support for farmers, according to the Post.

However, the White House’s plan is not expected to be a long-term
solution if the trade battles continue.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to defend his policies.

“Countries that have treated us unfairly on trade for years
are all coming to Washington to negotiate,” Trump tweeted.
“This should have taken place many years ago but, as the saying
goes, better late than never!”

“Tariffs are the greatest!” Trump continued
on Tuesday. “Either a country which has treated the United States
unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with
Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking!
Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will
be Great!”

Republicans in Congress lambasted the plan

“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers
and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold
crutches,” Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said. “This
administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make
America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929
again.”

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