Trump administration announced on Tuesday that will they provide $12 billion aid to farmers affected by the ongoing trade war that he started with China, the European Union and others. This is a clear indication that President Trump is not backing out on his trade attacks anytime soon.
Earlier this month, the President imposed tariffs on Chinese imports. China retaliated with a 25 % tariff rate on US products particularly farm exports coming from Midwest states that strongly supported President Trump during the election.
During his speech in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday, the President stood his ground and defended his trade policies. “We have to do it,” Trump said. “But it’s all working out,” the president assured the crowd, “just be a little patient,” he added.
On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted, “Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that – and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the ‘piggy bank’ that’s being robbed. All will be Great!”
Republicans seem to be divided on the administration’s recent move. Some are in favour while others strongly opposed the farmer bailout and the planned federal subsidies.
“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and the White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches,” said Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and a known Trump critic.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, an original Tea Party movement member said, “Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers,” Paul also tweeted, “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers — the answer is to remove the tariffs.”
Democratic U.S. Representative Jackie Speier of California, told the president over twitter, “OK @POTUS – you created this mess with your trade war and now you are going to spend $12 billion to placate the farmers that voted for you.”
In time it may not just be the farmers who will need financial support from the government. Manufacturing companies engaged in steel and aluminium, vehicle makers, and the liquor industry may feel the pressure of the counter-tariffs imposed by Europe, China, Mexico, and Canada.
In war, there will be casualties. The questions are, “How Many?” and “At What Cost?” Will the President receive the necessary support from Congress to stabilize the industries while the adjusted tariffs versus imports are doing their job?