Baldwin joins Johnson in writing Trump letter over tariffs

Baldwin joins Johnson in writing Trump letter over tariffs

President Donald Trump is in Kansas City Tuesday, the heart of the nation's farm country. "Just be a little patient". "Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs", the president tweeted.

In a statement, he said the Trump administration was "offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem they themselves created" and suggested that the stimulus itself is evidence that the administration "finally seems to understand that the Trump-Pence tariffs are hurting the American people". Interestingly enough, direct assistance will apparently come principally via the New Deal's Commodity Credit Corporation, a federal entity that needs no new congressional authorization in order to borrow billions from the Treasury and pay it out to farmers to "stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices". Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a member of the Senate's banking and finance committees.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the government's measures were temporary, and necessary to send "a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agriculture producers to force the United States to cave in", he said in announcing the aid. The president has said trade will be central to that discussion.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said the administration's move was "encouraging for the short term". He indicated the aid plan underscores how much farmers depend on trade. "They should do this by working with Congress to ensure farm bill programs provide enough assistance to farmers when markets collapse". This has more to do with oversupply than the tariffs, though. In response, China announced an equivalent amount in retaliatory tariffs, including on agricultural products like wheat, soybeans and cattle.

"To repeat, this damage is self-inflicted, so the Administration is right to take steps to address it, but the next step should be ending the trade war", the statement read. "The objective is to get access to the markets on a fair basis for our farmers and ranchers", he said.

Trump is set to visit Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday and will travel to IL and Iowa later in the week - all states that are beginning to see the impact of USA and retaliatory tariffs.

"This obviously is a short-term solution that will give President Trump time to work on a long-term trade policy", said Sonny Perdue, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said the proposal was raised a month ago when senators visited the White House for a broad discussion on trade.

He added: "Pretend someone smashed your auto, and then someone said, 'Don't worry, I will give you a ride to the next place you have to go.' Well, thank you, I appreciate the ride, but what am I going to do the next 10 rides I need after that?"

Earlier Tuesday, Trump showed no signs of backing down.

And the president has already put tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports in a separate dispute over Beijing's high-tech industrial policies.

Northwest Cherry Growers worldwide marketing director Keith Hu this week told Fresh Fruit Portal that the trade war is "definitely impacting" sales from the region to China this season.

"What you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening", Trump said.

The news lifted shares of farm equipment companies on the prospect that farmers will have more money to spend on tractors and other farm gear. He said USDA's aid announcement on Tuesday makes him think the administration doesn't expect an end to trade disputes soon.

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