The Trump administration plans to offer up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hit by tariffs on their goods, an emergency bailout intended to ease the pain caused by Trump’s escalating trade war in key electoral states, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told reporters Tuesday.
facilitated by the Commodity Credit Corp, an agency set up during the Great Depression, and will not require congressional approval.
The aid will come from a mix of programs overseen by the USDA, including direct payments to producers of some goods, including soybeans, as well as distribution assistance for producers of goods that can be easily provided to food banks, such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, and some meats. A third program, looking to build international markets, is open to producers of all commodities.
Shares of Deere & Company, the Illinois-based tractor maker that owns the brand John Deere, were up more than 3 percent after news of the bailout plan was reported earlier Tuesday.
President Donald Trump has hit several of America’s major trading partners with tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods, and has shown few signs of slowing. Earlier this month, 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports of machinery and electronics went into effect, prompting Beijing to respond with dollar-for-dollar tariffs on American exports of soybeans and other goods.
Trump has threatened to impose broader tariffs on as much as $500 billion of Chinese goods, which has alarmed economists as well as farming groups. The administration released a list of $200 billion in Chinese goods that would receive a 10 percent tariff on July 10.