U.S. President Donald Trump promised farmers they’d be the biggest winners of a trade war. And, the Trump Administration has promised $12 billion in emergency relief to help counter the tariffs.
CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy explains why it could be several weeks or months before they receive those funds.
It’s been a rough year for Marc Arnusch of Prospect Valley, Colorado. Arnusch grows corn as well as wheat and barley. His production is down sharply due to bad weather. Crop prices are down too, due in part to tariffs.
“We’ve overcome a lot,” Marc Amusch said. “My community has suffered and looks as poor as it’s ever looked at least in my recollection.”
But help is on the way, or so he and other farmers have been told, in the form of a $12 billion federal aid package that’s aimed at easing the effects of the current trade disputes. Zach Riley with the Colorado Farm Bureau says that’s the government’s role, to be a short-term safety net for the rural economy during turbulent times like these.
“This is a temporary measure,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Really a time to give President Trump and his negotiating team to get these trade disputes resolved.”
Critics of the plan have called it a pacifier or golden crutch for agricultural producers. But Arnusch won’t say no to money that could help him cover his expenses.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently estimated it would cost $39 billion – so the $12 billion extended to agriculture, plus another $27 billion, to compensate all U.S. industries affected by the retaliatory tariffs. The Chamber calls that a slippery and costly slope. Some farmers wonder why other tariff-affected industries aren’t getting similar help.
As the government has acknowledged, aid payments won’t make farmers like Arnusch whole. But it’ll help keep his operation humming while politicians work to settle the trade environment.