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Trump trade war

soybeansI have to admit that I didn’t see this coming. Someone must have been able to convince Trump of the political disaster he’d be facing if farmers aren’t covered somehow.

The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Tuesday a $12 billion package of emergency aid for farmers caught in the midst of President Trump’s escalating trade war, the latest sign that growing tensions between the United States and other countries will not end soon.
Trump ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prepare a range of options several months ago, amid complaints from farmers that their products faced retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries. The new package of government assistance funds was announced Tuesday and will go into effect in September.
The aid package will target soybean farmers, dairy farmers, and pork producers, among others. White House officials hope it will temporarily quiet some of the unease from farm groups, but the new plan could revive debates about taxpayer-funded bailouts and the degree to which Trump’s trade strategy is leading to unforeseen costs.
(Washington Post)

Here’s some additional information. We’ll also see, to what extent the “emergency aid” is carefully dished out with political advantage primarily in mind.

While this may offer farmers some short-term good news, it’s bad news for everyone in the long run. It means that Trump, rather than retreating from his misbegotten trade war, plans to double down on a position in which he has squandered U.S. leverage against more adversarial trade partners like China by simultaneously alienating U.S. allies.
Some farm advocates appear to be clear on the long-term implications of Trump’s short-sightedness. Brian Kuehl, executive director of trade group Farmers for Free Trade, called the White House initiative “a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage.”
“The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war,” Kuehl said.
(Daily Kos)

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