US announces billions to help farmers hurt by Trump tariffs

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Fast forward to July 2018 and farmers are struggling.

In the latest move in the US-China trade war, the American government has announced it will spend $12 billion dollars to help farmers cope with huge tariff increases, but Australia's national farm lobby group says it will hurt farmers in this country.

President of United States lobby group the National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson welcomed the aid, but said the United States government needs to do more to provide a long-term fix to the damage the trade war is wreaking. But the senior European official admitted that even lowering or eliminating tariffs on steel, aluminum, cars and agricultural products won't significantly address the more $100 billion trade deficit the USA has with the EU.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the Agriculture Department was "trying to put a Band-aid on a self-inflicted wound".

"When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity".

During a speech to the VFW in Kansas City, Mo., President Trump said farmers "will be the biggest beneficiary" of his tariffs, and he urged them to "just be a little patient".

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said the administration's move was "encouraging for the short term".

The GOP lawmakers say farmers want markets for their crops, not payoffs for lost sales and lower prices.

President Trump "has promised that he had the back of every American farmer and rancher", Perdue said.

Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee said their legislation to tie the president's hands on tariffs should pick up new steam now that the Trump administration is distorting the market. Rural voters - many who have deep ties to farming - helped catapult Trump to the presidency in 2016, and China's retaliatory tariffs specifically targeted politically important states and areas. "Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs", Trump wrote on Tuesday. "It's as simple as that".

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Beijing retaliated with tariffs of its own on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans.

Trump has placed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, saying they pose a threat to USA national security, an argument that the European Union and Canada rejects. Since March, he has imposed blanket tariffs on almost all imports of steel and aluminum and placed penalties on $34 billion in goods from China, a total likely to increase to $50 billion next month and into the hundreds of billions later this year.

The White House will have no choice but to attempt a spin of the facts with the program.

Jean-Claude Juncker, left, is due to meet with President Trump Wednesday.

In addition to the direct impact of tariffs on American farm products, farmers have also been hurt by USA tariffs on foreign steel imports. But those tariffs covered about $3 billion in goods and would pale in comparison with possible 25 percent tariffs on imports of cars, trucks and auto parts.

Deere & Co rose 4 percent in late morning trading, while Caterpillar Inc and AGCO Corp were up almost 2 percent ahead of the expected announcement.

The president's proposal was announced Tuesday in response to retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other countries.

In that year, President Herbert Hoover signed a major tariff bill, which was later followed by a Wall Street crash and the Great Depression.

Those affected economies have in turn targeted USA agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.

Agriculture officials said the payments couldn't be calculated until after harvests come in.

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