Despite relief offer from Trump, Missouri farmers feel tariff crunch

Robert Sakata

Farmer John Duffy loads soybeans from his grain bin onto a truck before taking them to a grain elevator on June 13 in Dwight, Illinois.

Both farmers and lawmakers are protesting President Trump's continued use of tariffs, despite the announcement of a $12 billion aid program for farmers affected by trade tensions.

Liu Weidong, a United States affairs expert from the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that with just 20 days since the start of the tariffs it was too early to tell if they had been effective.

"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 Nebraska Sen.

Trump said the talks would "resolve" both the hefty tariffs the United States had placed on imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union and the tariffs Europe had slapped on USA goods in response.

"While farmers have really had a good opportunity to get a decent price on this year's crop, next year's crop is very much in doubt.", Recker said.

The US President's comments came after a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker amid pressure in the US over the impact tariffs are having on the country's farmers after he unleashed a trade war.

"We will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, as well as soybeans; soybeans is a big deal".

The European Union had warned that it would retaliate with tariffs on products worth $20 billion if Trump puts duties on cars and auto parts from Europe. The EU has a huge stake in the USA industry, where European companies produce nearly 3 million cars a year, accounting for over a quarter of production in the United States. It's as simple as that - and every body's talking!

"These markets have been developed over years and because of trade agreements that we've had and whatnot", Flake said. In addition, the government will work to open new markets.

Nebraska senators react to $12B plan to assist farmers affected by tariffs

A 20 percent drop in soybean prices since the tariff threats began last spring represents about an $8 billion dollar loss for USA farmers, including some $700 million for Minnesota producers.

The bailout plan would see the USDA send money directly to farmers and allow them to purchase products directly for things like food banks.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the aid in a call to reporters, saying the programs "are a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in".

"This consistent and retaliatory taxing system called tariffs, is not the way to find prosperity for the state of Wisconsin", Rep. Steffen tells Action 2 News. However, we are extremely concerned about the threat of automotive tariffs.

Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall said the aid package "will provide a welcome measure of temporary relief" considering the farm economy is experiencing lean financial times and abruptly lower commodity prices.

"I just don't think the tariff route is the smart way to go", Ryan told reporters on Tuesday.

The statement said the meeting would have a "focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership". "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again".

"The possibility of a trade war is higher now", said Kudrle.

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