The new plan at the Agriculture Department would advance emergency funds for these farmers but likely not provide a long-term solution if the trade disputes with China and other countries persist. Politico first reported news of the aid plan.
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".
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the plan will help a broad number of farmers deal with the cost of "disruptive markets" as US trading partners have retaliated for President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported goods. Ryan said he doesn't support tariffs. "Just be a little patient".
Perdue and other USDA officials say the aid will be available in three forms; direct payment to producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs; government purchases of fruit, nuts, legumes, and some meats for distribution to food banks; and development of new export markets.
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It will rely in part on a Depression-era program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, a division of the Agriculture Department created in 1933 to offer a financial backstop for farmers.
The announcement of the plan on Tuesday would give the president a talking point when he travels Thursday to Iowa, the top US soybean-producing state and the home state of Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who's been critical of Trump's moves on trade.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also tweeted, saying: "Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers". "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again".
This year's showcase comes during a contentious period in USA trade relations, after the Trump administration targeted China and some United States allies with steep tariffs on a variety of goods.
Trump has been talking for weeks about finding ways to aid farmers as China, in particular, has canceled orders for soybeans and other crops.
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The president has engaged in hardline trading negotiations with China, Canada and European nations, seeking to renegotiate trade agreements he says have undermined the nation's manufacturing base and led to a wave of job losses in recent decades.
The president is meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday. He noted that countries "that have treated us unfairly on trade for years" are coming to Washington to negotiate. The U.S. and European allies have been at odds over the president's tariffs on steel imports and are meeting as the trade dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.
In addition to the direct impact of tariffs on American farm products, farmers have also been hurt by US tariffs on foreign steel imports.
Soybean farmers have also been hurt by falling soy prices tied to these tariffs.
"What farmers in Iowa and throughout rural America need in the long term are markets and opportunity, not government handouts", Grassley said.
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