Trump Administration to Announce Farm Aid to Ease Pain of Trade War



Ana Swanson, Glenn Thrush | New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to announce a substantial aid package for farmers as early as Thursday, one of several recent moves aimed at mollifying an important political constituency hurt by President Trump’s trade war.

Mr. Trump has been fighting several trade wars at once, wielding tariffs against metals from Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico as well as goods from China. In response, trading partners have hit back at American farmers, imposing punishing tariffs on everything from peanut butter to soybeans to orange juice.

With no end in sight to several of Mr. Trump’s trade fights, particularly China, administration officials have grown concerned that the president could lose the support of farmers ahead of the 2020 election. Those worries helped spur Mr. Trump last week to suddenly drop steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, which agreed in turn to withdraw stiff levies on American farm goods.

The administration will attempt to further cushion the blow with a second bailout package aimed at helping farmers who have lost sales and market share as a result of the trade war. On Thursday, the White House was preparing to welcome farmers for a meeting where it expected to announce a generous bailout, which could be larger than the initial $12 billion financial support program it rolled out last year.

[To read full article, click here]