Ahead of EU Meeting, Trump Rails at Domestic Critics

Trump administration announces $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced up to $12 billion in aid to USA farmers hurt by what it described as "unjustified" retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural goods.

Exports now account for about 20% of farm income in the USA, but farmers worry the escalating tariffs will reduce demand for their goods.

"Time and time again I've heard from farmers that they want trade, not aid", said Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin.

Agriculture officials say the plan will not require congressional approval. Perdue said more details about the aid will be announced by the beginning of September, which was the timeline he laid out last week.

China targeted tariffs on USA farm products after Trump imposed new steel and aluminum tariffs earlier this year, selecting crops and products in areas where Trump enjoys support.

American farmers will receive up to $12 billion in emergency relief as compensation for expected financial losses caused by the trade policies of President Donald Trump.

The move meant to cushion the blow for a politically important constituency was met with broad criticism by many farmers and farm-belt lawmakers, including Republicans.

"And the farmers will be the biggest beneficiary", Trump added.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's action highlights the ongoing toll of Trump's trade actions, particularly now that China and others have retaliated against the president's tariffs on imported metals and other goods by imposing levies aimed largely at America's agricultural community.

Much of the $12bn in aid will go to farmers of commodities such as soybeans, sorghum, and wheat. Farmer signups will begin later this year, after the fall harvest, the USDA said.

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"The programmes we are announcing today are a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in", Perdue said. The assistance is "a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agriculture producers to force the United States to cave in".

Canada, Mexico and China - the main target of Mr Trump's trade offensive - also have hit back with steep duties on United States goods, and have filed complaints against Washington at the World Trade Organisation.

The Trump administration has announced plans to provide billions of dollars to help American farmers. amid Washington's escalating trade disputes with other countries.

"The president's going to have to say more than 'I like the farmers and I support the farmers,"' he said during a conference call with reporters.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said the plan will "provide some temporary assistance". Soybean prices have plunged 18 per cent in the past two months.

That figure apparently refers to the United States trade deficit in goods alone last year, which hit $810 billion last year, while the total deficit including services was $566 billion. He said that the USA also wants a "big beneficiary frankly to be the European Union so we think it can be good for everybody". All three are embroiled in conflicts with the U.S.

The U.S. has already slapped tariffs on European steel and aluminum, and the EU has reciprocated with tariffs on $3 billion worth of American exports, such as whiskey and motorcycles. Ultimately, that will make cars more expensive for USA consumers. Farmer organizations including the American Soybean Association have called the impacts of tariffs on agriculture "devastating".

It would also affect business confidence in open markets for years to come, the British bank chief, Mark Carney, said.

Some Republicans in farm states quickly dismissed the plan, declaring that farmers want markets for their crops, not payoffs for lost sales and lower prices.

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