GOP decries Trump offer of $12B aid to offset tariffs

While the U.S. claims the retaliation is "illegal", the Trump administration has acknowledged it is doing damage to American farmers, and on announced it will provide up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by trade tariffs.

The visit comes after Trump imposed tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium, prompting a retaliation on United States products, such as whisky and motorcycles.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he was acting at President Trump's direction to provide a "short-term solution" to farmers and give the administration time to negotiate a longer term trade deal to help agriculture and other sectors hurt by unfair trading practices by China and others.

Trump, who enjoyed 88 per cent support from Republicans in a recent poll, brushed back his congressional critics online.

The temporary aid is more of an admission by the president of the "huge impact" the trade war is having on farmers, said Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, which has more than 45,000 members in the state.

He also and questioned if the government is going to continue to let "our farmers and country get ripped off".

"Everyone can have a patriotic heart, but this won't improve his economy, and instead it could make us Chinese just shoot ourselves in the foot".

"In his speech to an appreciative audience in Kansas City, Trump was re-emphasizing a theme he had addressed earlier Tuesday on Twitter, when he boasted" "Tariffs are the greatest!".

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Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping maintain a good relationship despite the growing dispute over trade. Currently, the Trump administration has only put tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products.

Then he added that the affront was getting in the way of his deal-making. He wrote: "Negotiations are going really well, be cool. The end result will be worth it!"

He added that there would be an increase on trade in services and agriculture. "I don't think threats bring us closer to a solution", he told German public TV station ARD on Tuesday.

"Tariffs are the greatest!", he tweeted.

He wasn't the only member of Trump's party to vent after the administration pledged to provide up to $12 billion in aid for USA farmers to shield them from the effects of trade disputes cultivated by the White House itself. "For example a plurilateral tariff cutting deal involving the world's biggest vehicle producers may also require approval from China as it's a big manufacturer of auto parts or concessions from the USA on its the existing 25% duty on light trucks".

And Americans for Prosperity, a conservative pro-growth group affiliated with the Koch network, said farmers want good trade policy, not a bailout.

The publication said that - according to two people familiar with the plans - the aid would be announced by the United States Department of Agriculture and would come through direct assistance programs. The company has said it can not absorb the total cost increases imposed by American tariffs. 'If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers - the answer is remove the tariffs'. Lamar Alexander, a Republican who has a bipartisan bill with Democratic Sen. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., both expressed skepticism of the aid, and urged the president to solve the trade dispute.

They also said China's government-backed economy and its increasing shift toward automation and reliance on service industries mean that American workers would feel the pain of a full trade war before Chinese businesses do.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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