President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that he will provide help for farmers that are the victims in the trade war. U.S. farmers got hit by billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs on their products.
According to Reuters, Trump’s administration, which has been talking about providing emergency aid to the agriculture industry, could offer upward of $12 billion in help to calm rising concerns about the trade war that could hit U.S. farmers hardest.
Agriculture groups and lawmakers have been demanding from the White House to stop imposing the tariffs as their products are being targeted for retaliation by top U.S. trading partners.
Farmers for Free Trade, a bipartisan coalition working to oppose trade policies that hurt farmers, said: “the best relief for the President’s trade war would be ending the trade war.”
“Farmers need contracts, not compensation, so they can create stability and plan for the future,” said Brian Kuehl, the group’s executive director. “This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs.”
Trump has levied tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, which brought retaliatory duties from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, among others.
The White House also has slapped tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. China quickly responded with an equal batch of duties.
So far, $34 billion in tariffs have gone into effect with another $16 billion in the pipeline.
Dozens of U.S. businesses are asking the President to forego that next batch of tariffs in hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Trump administration is expected to dip into two commodity support programs that are included in the farm bill to aid the agriculture industry.
The Agriculture Department also has broad authority to step in and provide stability to farmers hit by the duties.