Donald Trump’s tariffs are having an adverse affect on farmers in the United States. As nations such as China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico have placed retaliatory tariffs on agriculture, the Trump administration’s trade war “is cutting the legs out from under farmers.”
The USDA calculated that farmers suffered close to $11 billion “as a result of ‘illegal’ retaliatory tariffs” from major nations around the world.
“This administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again,” Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.), said.
The government announced it will provide farmers with government assistance by using a “Depression-era program, the Commodity Credit Corporation, to secure money from the U.S. Treasury and will not need to ask Congress for the funds,” NPR reported. According to NPR, Sonny Perdue, Agriculture Secretary, and “other USDA officials say the aid will be available in three forms; direct payment to producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs; government purchases of fruit, nuts, legumes, and some meats for distribution to food banks; and development of new export markets.”
The aid through such programs is being called “a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in,” Perdue said during his announcement to reporters. And during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri, Trump said farmers “will be the biggest beneficiary,” butjust need to be “a little patient.”
The retaliated tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports targets many farm states that have a political importance to the president.
“This is obviously a short-term solution that will give President Trump time to work on a long-term trade policy and deal to benefit agriculture as well as all sectors of the American economy,” Perdue said during his announcement to reporters.
The direct payments the government will make to farmers is being called “a recipe for disaster that would undo decades of progress toward weaning agriculture from financial dependence on federal subsidies,” Common Sense said.
“The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war,” said Brian Kuehl, executive director of trade group Farmers for Free Trade, said. “This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs.”
But the White House insists that the tariffs are a form of negotiating. It will allow Trump to form better trade deals with these nations and, while the tariffs are causing negative effects, they are ultimately minute compared to the future economic gains for the U.S.