Trump Races Toward 25 Percent Tariff on Auto Imports

'Making America 1929 Again': GOP Sen. Sasse Rips Trump on Tariffs, Planned Farmer 'Bailout'

A crisis of falling prices caused by retaliatory tariffs on American agricultural products prompted the Trump Administration Tuesday to make a $12 billion aid package available for farmers hardest hit by the brewing trade war.

Ahead of his meeting on Wednesday with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Trump tweeted that both the US and the EU should "drop all tariffs, barriers and subsidies".

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

During a speech to the VFW in Kansas City, Mo., President Trump said farmers "will be the biggest beneficiary" of his tariffs, and he urged them to "just be a little patient". And foreign auto companies that make vehicles in the USA, including Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen, would likely hemorrhage jobs if Trump's tariffs became a reality. That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade!

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a plan to provide $12 billion in emergency assistance to farmers in Texas and beyond who are suffering from the effects of President Donald Trump's sprawling trade war.

And a program in partnership with the private sector to create new export markets for American farmers.

President Trump "has promised that he had the back of every American farmer and rancher", Perdue said. "This is a short-term bridge to help President Trump negotiate trade deals".

Perdue said the plan was a short-term solution to the "illegal" response by China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other major economies to aggressive U.S. trade sanctions.

Trump will meet with Juncker in Washington D.C., where the escalating trade war with the European Union over tariffs will be front and center. "I don't think threats bring us closer to a solution", he told German public TV station ARD on Tuesday.

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"Our emphasis continues to be on trade and restoring markets, and we will continue to push for a swift and sure end to the trade war and the tariffs impacting American agriculture". China, meanwhile, retaliated with duties on pork and soybeans.

Under the three USDA aid programs, farmers will either receive direct payments or sell their excess production to the government to be used for food banks and other food aid, Perdue said.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., agreed, calling the aid "trade-war bailouts". Mr. Trump recently described the European Union as "a foe" on trade. Because it's an existing program, congressional approval isn't necessary.

"The administration must develop a support mechanism that will mitigate the significant damage that is being inflicted upon our most vital global markets for years to come", he said in a statement.

"Profitability is a major concern for Illinois corn farmers and declining commodity prices certainly aren't helping the bottom line", said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Aron Carlson, a farmer from Winnebago, Ill.

Corker said farmers want 'trade, not aid'. Farmers in Iowa alone could lose as much as $624 million on soybean shipments to China, Donnelle Eller, an agriculture reporter with the Des Moines Register, told CBSN last month.

On Twitter, Trump says people "snipping at your heels during a negotiation" will only delay the process.

The White House argues that the short-term pain from retaliatory tariffs is negligible compared to the benefits the country stands to reap from fair trade deals and lowered trade barriers. "I applaud the Administration for taking this needed action, and I am confident that President Trump, Secretary Perdue, and Ambassador Branstad are all working diligently to open China's markets to greater trade in Iowa's agricultural products".

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