Ag Dept to send $12B to farmers hurt by tariffs

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Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been critical of the president in the past, said the tariffs "are a massive tax increase on American consumers and businesses, and instead of offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem they themselves created, the administration should reverse course and end this incoherent policy".

"We're making tremendous progress".

The emergency bailout aimed to ease the financial and political pain caused by Trump's escalating trade and tariff war in key electoral states, sources told CNBC.

This year's showcase comes during a contentious period in USA trade relations, after the Trump administration targeted China and some U.S. allies with steep tariffs on a variety of goods.

Trump had previously directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to explore options to mitigate financial losses U.S. farmers are suffering as trade tensions between the United States and other countries heat up.

Tammy Baldwin have sent letters to Trump over the past week criticizing how his tariffs are hurting Wisconsin businesses and farmers.

Exports now account for about 20% of farm income in the USA, but farmers worry the escalating tariffs will reduce demand for their goods.

Asked if Trump was punishing the former officials due to their criticism, Sanders said, 'No, I think you are creating your own story there'.

The CCC has broad authority to make loans and direct payments to US growers when prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other agricultural goods are low.

Trump declared earlier Tuesday that "Tariffs are the greatest!" and threatened to impose additional penalties on USA trading partners as he prepared for negotiations with European officials at the White House. But the taxes also exact a toll on USA businesses and consumers, which pay more for imported products.

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The plan, however, has already magnified objections among some Republicans that the tariffs amount to taxes on American consumers.

"This obviously is a short-term solution that will give President Trump time to work on a long-term trade policy", said Sonny Perdue, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"We have never compensated farmers directly on such a large scale for retaliatory tariffs", Irwin said.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the aid package is "encouraging for the short term".

"The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong".

The administration has also engaged in hardline trading negotiations with Canada and European nations, seeking to renegotiate agreements he says have undermined the nation's manufacturing base and led to a wave of job losses in recent decades. The plan aims to provide temporary relief to farmers who have faced retaliation from USA trade partners during Trump's escalating trade dispute with China.

Responding to farm groups and Republican criticism on Capitol Hill, the administration has been working for months on a plan to shore up slipping prices for soybeans, pork and other crops hit with retaliatory tariffs from China. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told NBC News the tariffs are "going to make it 1929 again".

Trump is also set to meet Wednesday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The U.S. and its European allies are meeting as the dispute threatens to spread to automobile production.

He's threatening to use the national security justification again to slap tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that past year totalled US$335 billion ($494b).

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