Trump offers help to farmers hit by escalating China trade war

President Donald Trump

"This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy", Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

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.

In our news wrap Wednesday, President Trump and the leader of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker say they've agreed to turn from tariffs to talks.

Many US farm states vote Republican, but Republican candidates in looming congressional elections are anxious about their electoral chances, so the Trump administration has offered farmers a package worth nearly $NZ18 billion. Remember, we are the "piggy bank" that's being robbed.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on the $12 billion in aid for farmers and addresses concerns over the impact of tariffs.

Trump and Juncker were expected to make statements at a joint event following their meeting at the White House on trade, USA officials said.

"We will not go against the spirit of this agreement unless either party terminates this negotiation", the U.S. president said, adding that the next step will be to withdraw USA tariffs on aluminum and steel imposed in May, as well as European Union retaliatory tariffs that followed.

Juncker's visit comes amid an escalating trade war between the US and the E.U.in the wake of Trump's decision to slap tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel last month.

"This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again", he said in a statement.

They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater United States soy bean exports to the EU. The aid will include direct payments to farmers and ranchers, government purchases of some surplus commodities and helping to develop new export markets overseas.

"Ultimately we want to get our revenue from the markets", said Tom Bernhardt, who farms wheat, corn, sunflowers, and soybeans in Linton.

The aid funding may also mean that Trump's trade war will be going on for some time.

The red, white and blue banners for U.S. President Donald Trump's second-term campaign are ready to ship, emblazoned with the words "Keep America Great!"

The moves have been unsettling to lawmakers with districts dependent upon manufacturers and farmers affected by the retaliatory tariffs.

The negotiations at the White House came as Trump has touched off a series of trade disputes with global trading partners, including China, whom he accused earlier Wednesday of employing "vicious" tactics aimed at hurting American farmers.

He said "prices for farm products are plunging from already very low levels", and called for a support program to mitigate the damage "for years to come".

Corker said farmers want 'trade, not aid'.

The bailout plan comes just as voters in several farm states are preparing to cast votes in the midterm elections.

Rules for the programs have not been fully developed, and an exact date for rollout has not been determined, though Ibach said officials are targeting Labor Day.

As part of the initiative to be announced on Tuesday, the USDA is expected to draw on the financial resources of a program known as the Commodity Credit Corporation, which helps shore up US farmers by buying their crops.

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