Trump's Bailout For Farmers, Amid Ongoing Tariff Talk

Virginia Carson
July 26, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have agreed to work toward eliminating tariffs and barriers on trade, ... reducing trade tensions for now.

He said the EU had agreed "almost immediately" begin buying more U.S. soybeans and that the European bloc had agreed to increase LNG exports from the U.S. The EU will be a "massive buyer" of LNG, Mr. Trump said.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it will use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help USA farmers weather the growing trade war.

Juncker, who had been somewhat defiant ahead of the meeting, said afterwards: "I had the intention to make a deal today". Today's agreement specifically deals only with "non-auto industrial goods" but Juncker and his team have been hammering the point that they hope/expect that no further tariffs will be imposed by either side so long as negotiations are ongoing.

In a tweet, the U.S. president suggested that it was the European Union that stood in the way of free trade, and that his tough talk was forcing Brussels to the negotiating table. "The real resolution is getting to agreement and getting these trade issues solved".

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The tone between Trump and Juncker was friendly, a marked turnabout from the harsh rhetoric the European Union and USA have exchanged in recent weeks.

Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration that the EU imposes a 10pc tariff on imported United States cars, while the USA tariff on European cars is only 2.5pc.

"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". "Only united as Europeans do we have sufficient economic and political weight to effectively represent our interests", he said.

While the USA president can claim his aggressive approach is working, consumers, farmers and businesses are feeling the pain from the retaliatory measures imposed to counter the raft of U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum, and tens of billions of dollars in products from China put in place in recent weeks.

Hmmm. Read the joint U.S. -EU statement.

Trump to offer USA farmers billions to ease trade pain
But the plan magnified objections among many Republicans that the tariffs amount to taxes on American consumers. President Trump indicated that countries are finally coming to the negotiating table over trade tariffs.

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 US farmers to shield them from the effects of trade disputes cultivated by the White House itself. The EU will buy more soybeans and natural gas while Trump will hold off on imposing more ruinous tariffs, including a whopping 25% duty on $300 billion in foreign auto sales.

Politicians Tuesday announced that $12 billion would go back to American farmers as form of tariff relief.

"This is only a short-term solution", said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and is meant to give Trump time to rebalance trade rules worldwide.

"I think the European Union as a foe what they do to us in trade", he said.

The program will "assist farmers in response to trade damage caused by illegal retaliatory tariffs", which USDA estimated at $11 billion, Perdue told reporters.

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