US to invest $12B to protect farmers from trade war

Retaliatory tariffs on soybean, beef, pork saw drop in prices, rise in American inventories
NEW YORK: The U.S on Tuesday took a step to protect American farmers from an escalating trade war with other countries.
“Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement.
“These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets,” it added.
After President Donald Trump ignited a trade war with China and Canada, retaliatory tariffs on soybean, beef and pork against the U.S. saw a drop in prices and a rise inventories for American farmers.
“The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the statement.
“This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” he added.
The USDA plan comes as midterm elections in November are looming and Republicans are struggling to hold key agricultural states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.
“The farmers will be the biggest beneficiary … we are opening up markets … just be a little patient,” Trump said during a speech earlier in the day in Kansas City.
“Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs …” Trump wrote earlier on Twitter.
In addition to imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Trump also directed the North American Free Trade Agreement to be renegotiated between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
So far, Washington imposed $34 billion worth of tariffs on China, with $16 billion to come later. The government said it would assess 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth Chinese goods.–AA

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