Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Trump to meet EU's Juncker in bid to resolve trade dispute

Trump to meet EU's Juncker in bid to resolve trade dispute

In the first acknowledgment by President Donald Trump's administration that his aggressive trade actions are hurting Americans, the government on Tuesday announced $12 billion in aid for farmers who have been the primary targets of retaliation.

"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, of Nebraska who frequently criticizes the president, a fellow Republican.

US President Donald Trump took a pessimistic view of talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker set for Wednesday aimed at averting a trade war.

The tariffs and their welfare handouts are no more than pre-midterm salve for rankled farmers who are more than a little resentful to hear closing market doors in the Far East. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts said, "Once you lose a market you lose it".

Hours after news outlets reported the administration's pending program, Heitkamp announced she had introduced legislation to extend eligibility for direct financial assistance to farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed on their exports.

"Great to see [Trump] providing aid to farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs", Cramer wrote on Twitter.

On Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would offer $12 billion in aid to farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed on US goods.

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"This announcement is substantial, but we can not overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets", he said.

He added: "Pretend someone smashed your vehicle, and then someone said, 'Don't worry, I will give you a ride to the next place you have to go.' Well, thank you, I appreciate the ride, but what am I going to do the next 10 rides I need after that?"

"The payments will be helpful to farmers facing overdue loans and angry bankers, but are completely insufficient if they mean that tariffs and the trade war will last for the foreseeable future", Hurst said.

There are no specific details on how the government plans to sort out the money by state. But the taxes also exact a toll on USA businesses and consumers, which pay more for imported products. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he understood Trump's plan and called his goal a "good one" but ultimately said House Republicans do not agree with the practice.

Still, Blake Hurst, a corn and soybean farmer and president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, said that unless the White House's policies change, the US agriculture industry will continue to suffer. "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again". China has retaliated with duties on soybeans and pork, affecting Midwest farmers in a region of the country that supported the president in his 2016 campaign. The US has a 2.5% levy on imports of passenger vehicles. "I'm very exasperated. This is serious".

Senior European official admitted that even lowering or eliminating tariffs on steel, aluminum, cars and agricultural products won't significantly address the bilateral deficit, which is affected by macro-economic issues. He has also threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totaled $335 billion. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to meet with Trump on Wednesday after the U.S. threatened to impose tariffs on auto imports. 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.

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Kevin Freking and Matthew Daly in Washington, James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas, contributed.

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