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White House Prepping $12 Billion in Aid for Farmers Caught in Trade War

White House Prepping $12 Billion in Aid for Farmers Caught in Trade War

“This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs.”

A few months ago, President Donald Trump instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to start organizing a package to help American farmers after they expressed concern over tariffs from China and other countries in response to those tariffs Trump imposed on them.

Now that plan is about to come into fruition. The White House will announce a plan that will provide $21 billion in aid to the farmers.

Trump approved tariffs valued about $50 billion on products from China like electronic goods and machinery. He also passed 10% tariffs on aluminum and 25% tariffs on steel from Canada, EU, and Mexico.

China responded with tariffs on over $34 billion on American products, which include agriculture products.

These tariffs hit the heart of America, which helped put Trump into office.

From The Washington Examiner:

The aid will be provided through the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corporation [CCC], which provides price supports for farmers, and is expected to be announced sometime Tuesday. Other reports about the plan said the administration will also launch a trade promotion program to help farmers who are having more trouble exporting in light of the ongoing trade war.

The assistance will be broad-based.

“We are hearing that it will include more than soybeans. While soybeans have been among the hardest hit sectors, the impacts of tariffs on farmers and ranchers is wide and deep across the board,” said an agriculture industry source.

CCC dates back to the Depression so “it does not rely on new congressional approval” and can “borrow up to $30 billion from the Treasury Department.”

Reactions

I thought it was a bad idea for government to pick winners and losers in the private sector! Could someone remind President Donald Trump that tariffs are bad and ask him if he’s really shocked that the countries took these steps?

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) stated that “America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose – they want to win by feeding the world.” He claimed the tariffs will bring America back to 1929.

Sasse isn’t alone. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross heard from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that senators from farming states, like Grassley himself, told Trump they “don’t want money from the Treasury – we want markets.”

Even farmers have voiced opposition to the tariffs and the emergency aid. From Politico:

Farmers and the majority of farm-state lawmakers have previously appeared to be lukewarm on the idea of the government doling out aid to offset losses due to tariffs and drops in the market. Many have told POLITICO they would prefer the Trump administration to expand access to foreign markets, rather than start spats with trading partners that lead them to erect barriers on U.S. exports, restrict access and seek out other sources of supply.

“The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war,” Brian Kuehl, executive director of the advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement Tuesday. He said farmers need trade policies that promote stability and allow them to plan for the future.

“This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs,” Kuehl added.

Farmers for Free Trade is funded by the American Farm Bureau Federation — the nation’s largest farm group — and other industry trade associations, like the National Pork Producers Council and National Corn Growers Association.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, echoed Kuehl’s sentiment:

“I think the question in farm country that is equal to what’s happening now is: What is our future down the road? How do we put these trade agreements back together? Once you lose a market, you lose it,” he said. “We are trying to make the point that we don’t want aid, we want trade.”

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Comments

Why don’t the farmers do what the Chinese are doing to us with Steel and Aluminum? They sell those metals to Canada and Mexico who then turn around and sell it to the U.S. tariff free. The farmers should sell the soybeans to…say…Vietnam, who would in turn sell it to China, tariff free.

I’d like to know what farmers really think – not some advocacy group or politician claiming to speak for all farmers.

Almond and walnut farmers always have a market no matter what (Yeah, I see you guys at the coop meetings in NorCal- no one is starving to put it mildly.) Rice and prune/fig farmers may need help? I think it’s a very targeted audience needing tariff relief.

Guess what friends. We will shortly be moving into a period of global famines. So any nonsense about losing a market forever is not worth reporting.

The US is backing away from being the guarantor of the World Trading system. The US Navy will no longer provide for Global freedom of the seas. We will no longer be the market of first and last resort through which everyone exported their way to affluence. And, we will no longer bribe other nations to play nice. This will result in a period of global ‘Disorder’.

This would have happened under a President Hillary as well. It just would not have happened as fast. And, the Democrats would have diverted a trillion $ into the pockets of the Globalists to ease their pain.

Trump is not pro-tariff. He is using tariffs as a means to try to bring countries like China and the EU to the table, to cut deals that restore free and equal trade, and to eliminate institutional trade advantages that said countries have been allowed to accumulate over the years. He has calculated, I think correctly, that the tariffs imposed are going to hurt these countries more than they will hurt the US internally.

All it will take is for one country that has been the subject of tariffs to come to the table and cut a deal for the floodgate of deal-cutting to open.

    Ragspierre in reply to Wisewerds. | July 24, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Horseshit. T-rump does not like trade. At all.

      Othniel in reply to Ragspierre. | July 24, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      lol

      txvet2 in reply to Ragspierre. | July 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Well, since “trade” encompasses literally every single interpersonal mercantile transaction, foreign OR domestic, I’d have to suggest that you (to quote another comment somewhere)”document that bullshit. Please.”

      Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | July 24, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Right. He hates all free trade so much that we’re getting ready to re-negotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. Mexico’s chief negotiator has already said a deal is “inevitable” soon.

      We have free trade agreements with 20 countries. Can you tell me which ones Trump has ripped to shreds? I’ll help you: zero. He also wants more free trade agreements with places like Great Britain and also Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana and plenty of other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Ever heard of the potential U.S./African deals? Of course not. Trump’s a racist and hates free trade. A free trade deal with the Philippines and the U.S. is scheduled to be hashed out in a couple months. Ever heard of that? Nah, Trump only likes whitey and he hates free trade.

      I was at the Texas/Mexico border this past week. Long after sundown, the number of trucks moving North on I-35 from Mexico via Laredo is non-stop. It’s an 18-wheeler rush hour every hour of the day. Trains also. Unemployment rate in the Rio Grande Valley before NAFTA was 20-25%. Now it’s about 6.5%. If you think Trump is stupid enough to kiss that kind of commerce goodbye, be my guest. Anyone with a brain knows it will never happen.

        Ragspierre in reply to Colonel Travis. | July 24, 2018 at 7:50 pm

        …and the trucks and trains go the other way.

        But T-rump will lie to you that our “trade deficit” with Mexico (or Norway) means we’re being made suckers and that they’re (everybody) is “stealing” from us.

        I don’t know if you are that stupid, but several here ARE.

          Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | July 24, 2018 at 10:36 pm

          Yes, trucks and trains go the other way. Not as many. Instead of pretending what Trump says, I’d rather go by what he actually says. Then again, I do not care what he says. I care what he does. I didn’t vote for a Toastmasters convention keynoter.

          Regardless, I gave you real examples of how there is real free trade going on. I don’t even know what “does not like trade” even means. If Trump did not like trade, there would be no trade. Hello, is this thing on? Your argument on its face is ridiculous. If you mean that he doesn’t like free trade, your argument is ridiculous. We have free trade agreements with 20 nations and are negotiating to add more.

          If your argument is that he’s using tariffs as a stick to beat other countries to make better deals with the U.S., I’d be fine with that. If your argument was “I don’t know if this tactic will work” I’d be fine with that. But you never go the reasonable route with Trump. You and every other TDS sufferer use hyperbole and it doesn’t work. Why do you do this? You clearly have a brain but you shut it off every time Trump comes up.

          I’m not sure if Trump’s tariff gamble will pay off. I’m skeptical. Not cynical. Just skeptical. It may not. All I know is that he’s trying a different tactic than other presidents, which I find refreshing. The economies of China, Canada and Europe are more precarious than ours. It’s a big game of chicken – who’s gonna serve out of the way? No clue. But I’ll take our odds over everyone else’s.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 24, 2018 at 10:45 pm

          Yah, no.

          W did tariffs.

          Barracula did tariffs.

          They NEVER work.

          They ALWAYS cost jobs in the net.

          You can “trust” T-rump. I don’t. I don’t like central planning by BIG GOVERNMENT.

          I guess you do.

          Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 12:03 am

          Yah, no? Is it really that hard to type in adult English vs. communicating like a 12-year-old girl?

          So you’ve dropped the “Trump does not like trade. At all” argument and now you want to talk about tariffs in general. Good Lord….

          1.) No mention by you about how Canada and Mexico were exempt under Bush’s steel tariffs (gee, what a tough guy). No mention that their economies are weaker now. Not sure why the Trump Automatic Failure happens before any negotiating has even taken place with these countries (and others), but you like to pretend you know things when you don’t know things.

          2.) Bush and Obama did not use tariffs as negotiating tools with China. What did China do to us the first two decades of this century? Kept screwing with the currency, kept stealing intellectual property, etc. What did Bush and Obama do about it? They bent over and took it up the rear. Trump has not yielded like they did.

          I am not a fan of tariffs. But it seems to me the rational person would want to see how Trump handles all this vs. the previous two clowns, because the previous two clowns did not use tariffs for the same reasons as Trump.

          It’s pointless trying to have a rational discussion with you. You and every other TDS sufferer are beyond horrible at predicting what will happen with Trump. Sorry, I just find it funny that you are so sure of yourself when you have a 100% suck rate at doing it.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 8:14 am

          Let the record reflect that YOU are the irrational name-calling hysteric here.

          I’m the one who stands by liberty, choices, and property rights.

          You’re the one defending Bernie Sanders’ trade policy

          Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 6:02 pm

          And the EU caved today.
          Gee, how come you didn’t predict that one, genius?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 6:58 am

          You are just delusional. Watch and see.

      Wisewerds in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 2:10 am

      http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/398706-trump-calls-for-eu-to-drop-all-trade-barriers-ahead-of-official-visit

      Rags, you argue with all the force and maturity of a six year old girl. A sissy girl at that.

Mary, exactly how much have American farmers lost due to tariffs, this year? This is a serious question. The reason that I ask is because there are multiple markets in the world, including a huge US market. Do US beef producers get more per pound, for their cattle in China than in the US market? How about corn, wheat, beans, peas, potatoes? All of these products have a high spoilage rate, which means that transport to the consumer is generally at least as expensive for long distance deliveries as it is for short distance deliveries. Also, US consumers have one of the highest standards of living in the world. I find it difficult to believe that American farmers and ranchers can not find a lucrative domestic market.

How about a slightly more balanced piece on this issue.

I’d like to think this was a serious post. I’m not sure.

Trump was never pure on subsidies from the simple and glaring fact that he came out in support of ethanol, a big deal in Iowa. Amash seems to be quoting dogma well – other countries only hurt themselves with tariffs so the US should leave those alone, and lower only its own tariffs. And here I was thinking it would be nice if other countries would lower theirs too, broadly speaking.

If I thought Trump was just raising tariffs and them leaving them at the higher rate.. forever.. I would condemn his actions as well.

Why should the US operate at a trade disadvantage? If this isn’t about tariffs then why not remove ALL tariffs and everyone operate on the same level? Why should European cars have access to the US market IF American car manufacturers don’t get the same level field access to European markets?

What I never hear from the anti-Tariff crowd – complaints about tariffs imposed on our goods in other countries and how you solve that.

Dear Mary, can you expound on that?

Ho-hum. Like Nork de-nuclearization, it’s mere maneuvering until something actually happens. And the maneuvers are of little consequence. The game is determined by the positions of the pieces at the end; how they get there isn’t terribly important.

But great stuff for hysterics, for sure—The government funds a Department of Defense? Trump must want a war!!!!

Still waiting for those famous steel tariffs to appear. My suppliers haven’t raised steel prices a penny so far.

Actually, President Trump is releasing America, farmers and consumers alike, from the headlock BIG AG has put on them. There is no more supply and demand. It’s controlled markets. Get rid of BIG AG and the cost of foods will drop, some dramatically. The farmer will be paid the same, but the massive profits to the international BIG AG firms will stop. Why do you think they UniParty allows illegal immigration? Lower labor costs. SNAP benefits? The U.S. Governmemt is subsudizing the artificially high prices. And behind it all is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their affiliates, plus their bought and paid for mouthpieces and fixers, the U.S. Congress.

Please note the Trump posturing here. The other countries are muttering to themselves, “Trump will cave if we slug his farmer voters. That’s where a lot of his support is.”

Now this, and the other countries realize more that Trump is serious about this trade deal. The “Wait him out” strategy gets weaker and the “Deal with him now before our other trade partners do” strategy gets stronger.

Not bad. I hope it works.

People have to understand how American agribusiness works, in order to understand who benefits from increased subsidies to “farmers” in this case. Elric has hit the nail on the head.

Though there are still a large number of privately owned farms in this country, American agribusiness is controlled by a few gigantic, multinational corporations. The vast majority if American agricultural production is sold to these few companies. And, the farmers take what they can get, because of the near monopoly. This is one reason for the the increase in direct farm sales to end consumers, and local merchants, in the last decade. Most privately owned farms make less than $100,000 a year in income. That is gross, not net.

These farms sell their produce to the agribusinesses which process these products, in many instances overseas, and then distribute those products in the US. These products are sold to local or national retail merchants and then they are sold to consumers. On the other side, these same corporations also provide the seeds, feeds and chemicals that the farms require for their operations. Local farmers sometimes even enter into contractual agreements, with these corporations, which allows the corporation to dictate what a specific farmer can grow and how much. This allows for direct manipulation of the farm produce markets.

No one notices, because these corporations make billions of dollars every year and spend a considerable amount of it for favorable treatment by the US and state governments. They are the ultimate recipients of any subsidies designed to aid farmers adjust to impeded foreign markets.

“The European Union is coming to Washington tomorrow to negotiate a deal on Trade. I have an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready – but they won’t!”

“Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies!”

President Trump, on twatter

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1021909900941815809

Trump’s tactics with Tariffs are both obvious and effective.

The situation he wants to change is:
– We allow products to be imported to the US with low tariffs
– Our trade partners impose *much* higher tariffs on our products, including tariffs that massively increase after a certain amount is sold (effectively, a quota system, illegal under WTO agreements). They also use govt subsidies and currency manipulation as an unfair – ‘illegal’ – advantage (again, per WTO agreements)

What Trump actually wants is Free Trade. Zero Tariffs, Zero Subsidies, Zero currency manipulation. He’s proposed exactly that to the G7, the EU, and others. To no avail.

So, how to get them to play fair and allow us to export to them fairly? Simple – he hikes Tariffs on their products, until they cave in. Which, in several cases already, they have done (and quickly too). In order to get Trump to relent on his tariffs, they relent on their tariffs and unfair practices.

Result is re-negotiated deals (that with S. Korea being perhaps the best, of many) – that reduce that country’s tariffs against us, agree to ending (reducing, at least) some of their unfair practices, and in return Trump abolishes the recently hiked tariff.

How simple is this? Very!! Effective too.

And, as Trump points out – often – WE hold all the cards.

For instance, with Canada, some of their highest GDP provinces like Ontario have economies that are ~50% dependent on trade with the US. Meanwhile, the US economy is only 12% dependent on trade with the ENTIRE rest of the world.

Tariff war US vs Canada (or vs China, or anyone else) can absolutely cripple their economy, while ours barely blinks. For China, it could also result in the fall of their regime. China’s tariffs on US soybeans alone could produce widespread rioting and possible regime change. Which, of course, would be fantastic!! For us, and everyone else – particularly for the people of china.

Couple that with the fact that he is doing this selectively, a few countries at a time, and it greatly reduces the effect on the US economy.

Which, in any case, is temporary – the tariffs he’s imposing aren’t meant to be permanent, but merely the stick to beat a single trade partner into relenting on their tariffs against us. Once they do, our tariffs on them go back down.

China hikes tariffs on US soybeans, but is still a massive importer. So, they buy about the same amount on the world market, but from a country other than the US – at higher prices. US soybean exporters then make up the loss of what they had sold to China by selling to China’s new supplier’s former customers. At higher prices. Amount of soybeans traded worldwide goes down a little, but the prices go up quite a lot. Which is great for net exporters like the US, really, really bad for a country like China with a billion peasants (literally, they have a quarter million people living in the 21st century, and a billion living in the 6th) that can’t begin to feed its people. Hike food prices on people just barely surviving, and you are very likely to get food riots on a massive scale (cf. “arab spring”).

    Ragspierre in reply to Aarradin. | July 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

    https://www.conservativereview.com/news/levin-tariffs-are-not-america-first/

    “The Obama Test”…!!! That’ll leave a mark…!!!

      Conservative Review? Flake says he’s a Republican too, as does Susan Collins & John McCain.

        Ragspierre in reply to MSO. | July 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

        Are you trying to avoid the point by lyingly trying to equate Levin and company with those you mention?

          Nobody is perfect Rags and that includes Levin (especially his idiot plan to give the government the power to rewrite our constitution), the conservative review, national review and me and you.

      Aarradin in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      R’s are split on this issue.

      And, both sides of the split call themselves conservatives.

      Not surprising you are completely clueless and confused on this.

      The “big-C” Conservatives, essentially principled Conservatives, along with Populists are with Trump and support his fight to get our trade partners to lower their tariffs, and understand that there will be some discomfort during the process.

      The “small-c” conservatives are the establishment type R’s, country-club types, with Congressmen that are funded by (and represent) the Chamber of Commerce – rather than the vast majority of the people that voted for them (mostly middle class, mostly blue collar). The push is coming from businesses that, thanks to incentives since Clinton, have shuttered factories in the US and moved their production outside the US (Canada, Mexico, China, mostly) and don’t want to have to move them back to the US now that the financial incentives have changed. Cheaper and easier to lobby for DC to reverse Trump’s America First policy changes.

      Levin, obviously, is supporting the establishment type R’s on this, contrary to his usual position supporting the ideological “big C” Conservative position.

      He’s by no means the only one that’s been suckered in by the (overwhelming) propaganda effort by the Chamber of Commerce on this.

      Oh, and just today – The EU is caving in, already, and is signalling they are ready to lower their tariffs.

      Trump, and his voters, win again. Never get tired of winning.

      Here:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/25/trump-we-hope-to-work-something-out-on-a-fair-trade-deal-with-europe.html

        Ragspierre in reply to Aarradin. | July 26, 2018 at 7:57 am

        Life must be hard in “opposite world”.

        We conservatives are for small government, and leaving people free to make their choices and use their property as they wish.

        We don’t find any mandate in the Constitution for an activist boob to dick with an entire economy on his own whim.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

          “We conservatives are for small government…”

          You voted for both Bushes, McCain, and Romney, none of which are for small government.

          Trump has rolled back regulations to decrease the power of government across the board, none of which was done by the Bushes or would have been done by either McCain or Romney.

          You so called conservatives are not really for small government, it’s just dogma you mouth for effect. Most of us caught on to that a decade or more ago.

          Derangement is not a substitute for intelligence. You’re simply not an honest person.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 9:42 pm

          We don’t find any mandate in the Constitution for an activist boob to dick with an entire economy on his own whim.

          Same exact position I held when Barracula and W imposed tariffs, you lying old T-rump sucking prog.

The biggest problem America’s farmers have is that the Big-Ag companies claim that “All your beans belong to us; here is your contract price”.

The farmer can take his chances at the local elevator, but the elevator takes a cut off what Big-Ag will pay, so there just isn’t really an open market.

    Ragspierre in reply to MSO. | July 25, 2018 at 10:04 am

    So, you are trying to defend T-rump0nomics by saying the 12 billion is a sop for BIG AG…???

    Why don’t you explain the soy bean futures market to everyone. That would be fun. You may want to consult Mac.22, who “knows” shit that is just silly.

      The WTO, as socialists are wont to do, determine which nations will pay what for its soybeans and which countries will get paid what for its soybeans. Big-Ag lobbies the WTO to manage the trading of all ag products in their favor.

      I’ve read here this morning that you’re one of those guys who thinks high tariffs are good for us so Trump is a jerk for trying to get them lowered. Beware Rags, if congress gets enough support from people thinking as you do, they will step in a screw up all of Trump’s negotiations.

        Ragspierre in reply to MSO. | July 25, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        Yeh, you’re insane. You support the illegal T-rumpian central planning.

        I don’t. I like being free to chose. I also like the rule of law.

          Aarradin in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2018 at 11:34 pm

          If you think Trump is about “central planning”, then you are completely out of your mind.

          Everything he’s done since taking office has been to reduce the power and scope of the Executive Branch, restoring power to the legislature and to the people.

          The biggest push here comes in obliterating thousands of Dictats from previous Dictators – which coming in the form of “rules” by various bureaucracies. All of which are having their power curtailed in a fashion never seen before.

          If Trump is some kind of Dictator, then he is unique in all of human history – he’s the absolute first to systematically go about reducing his own power.

          LOL, you don’t even know who the players are, which side they are on, or what the goals are that they are fighting for.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 6:57 am

          I think it’s pretty well-established that you are a delusional T-rump sucker.

          Yes, Duh Donald is engaging in a BIG GOVERNMENT planned economy, and he’s doing it on the pretext of lies in violation of the law. His tariffs ARE dictatorial.

          #badchoicedaddyfix

          Congress and the WTO need to check him.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm

          “Congress and the WTO need to check him.”

          Typical prog. Rails against “big government” then supports it and all the big government institutions. All aligned against American workers.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 26, 2018 at 9:37 pm

          Typical lying nutter prog T-rump sucker.

          Congress is the proper source of economic policy, not some loopy “strong man”.

          And the WTO is just a very successful body for clearing trade conflicts. We win the vast majority of cases we bring before it. ‘Course you’re too stupid to know any of that.

        Ragspierre in reply to MSO. | July 26, 2018 at 8:06 am

        Poor nutter…!!!

        The WTO has no price-setting function or power.

        The basic economic ignorance here is appalling.

        As is the support for protectionism, which is a corrupt BIG GOVERNMENT Collectivist use of government power to favor one interest over all others, and redistribute vast sums of money.

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