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·         Ag Leaders React To Announcement Of Additional Trade Aid

·         White House explores new farmer bailout plan as U.S.-China trade war heats up



Ag Leaders React To Announcement Of Additional Trade Aid


Radio 570 WNAX (SD)

May 14, 2019


Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced USDA has been instructed by President Trump to prepare a trade aid package for U.S. farmers. American Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton says specifics are still coming out on the program.


National Pork Producers Council Director of International Affairs Maria Zieba says they only received $4 per pig in the first trade aid program and while pork purchases are helpful they would rather have an end to the trade war.


And National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett says farmers are losing patience with the trade war and don’t want trade aid...


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White House explores new farmer bailout plan as U.S.-China trade war heats up


By Damian Paletta, Erica Werner and Taylor Telford, The Washington Post

May 14, 2019  


President Trump on Tuesday rushed to placate furious farmers and Senate Republicans about his escalating trade war with China, with lawmakers now considering a package of fresh bailout funds to quell a rebellion in agricultural states.


The fresh uproar came as farmers, lawmakers, business executives, and global investors are looking to Trump for clues on how far he intends to take the trade showdown with China. On Monday, Trump suggested the standoff could last years and lead to structural changes in the global economy.


On Tuesday, Trump offered conflicting forecasts, musing that a deal could come in the next month but also predicting a furious economic battle with Beijing.


In one Twitter post, he said he would sign off on a deal “when the time was right,” but in another post he called for using the U.S. Federal Reserve to thwart China’s economic agenda.


“In any event, China wants a deal!” Trump wrote.


The mounting concern from farmers and business groups showed signs of bleeding into the 2020 presidential campaign. Trump has attacked former vice president Joe Biden, a Democratic contender for the nomination, and alleged that Democrats didn’t act forcefully enough to counter China in past decades. But Biden on Monday told the radio station WMUR that Trump was creating collateral damage with his blunt trade agenda, which has relied on costly tariffs that U.S. companies must pay to bring in Chinese products.


“The American worker is getting killed by this,” Biden said. “The American farmers are getting killed.”


In a sign of the concern gripping lawmakers, some GOP leaders are looking at a way to amend an unrelated disaster-relief package to free up billions of dollars in rescue money for U.S. farmers.


Trump has alleged for years that China rips off U.S. businesses and consumers by stealing intellectual property and rigs their currency to flood the U.S. with cheap imports. He has also complained that the U.S. imports $500 billion more in Chinese goods than it exports to Beijing, an imbalance he says is unfair.


To force the Chinese government to change its behavior, he has imposed steep tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and threatened to extend these import penalties to more than $300 billion in additional products.


China has responded in two ways, both by trying to negotiate with him to stop the tariffs and by imposing import penalties on U.S. exports like soybeans and other items. This has led U.S. farmers to complain they are being caught in the middle of the standoff, putting pressure on lawmakers to intervene.


Senate Republicans on Tuesday were frenetically trying to deal with complaints from powerful farm groups.


Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Tuesday was asked by a reporter about the level of patience among farmers with the trade standoff and he held his thumb and index finger an inch apart.


Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the White House’s approach to helping farmers so far was “inadequate” and that more needed to be done, and soon.


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he planned to write a letter to Trump to explain the concerns of farmers because he felt the argument he had repeatedly made to the president in person was not registering.


“I’m not sure if you talk to him face to face he hears everything you say,” said Grassley, who has emerged as one of Trump’s chief critics on the administration’s trade approach in recent weeks...


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