White House readies plan for $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump’s escalating trade war


The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday plans to announce a $12 billion package of emergency aid for farmers caught in the midst of President Trump’s escalating trade war, two people briefed on the plan said, the latest sign that growing tensions between the United States and other countries will not end soon.

Trump ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prepare a range of options several months ago, amid complaints from farmers that their products faced retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries. The new package of government assistance funds will be announced Tuesday and is expected to go into effect by Labor Day.

The aid package is expected to target soybean farmers, dairy farmers, and pork producers, among others. White House officials hope it will quiet some of the unease from farm groups, but the new plan could revive debates about taxpayer-funded bailouts and the degree to which Trump’s trade strategy is leading to unforeseen costs.


Of those products, I would say pork and dairy are the most vulnerable to Chinese tariffs. Probably no grain really is, and soybeans the least of all.

It’s really a shame that the government runs such spending deficits. But for them, China would be forced to buy enough American products to offset imports from China. But that’s not the situation.


Maybe you could predict my response, but I think this administration harmed these farmers, and they need to help them out now. It would just be better for literally everyone if they abandoned their trade war. However, I fear that this bailout indicates a protracted conflict with many unintended consequences that will impact many businesses as well as consumers… For example, Whirlpool reported poor earnings yesterday. They had asked for some protection from competition with LG and Samsung. They got a tariff on imported washers, but they also got a tariff on steel and aluminum that increased their costs.


I take it you see no negatives in the U.S running a huge trade deficit with China or the export of American jobs.


I don’t think that a complete cost-benefit analysis has been done, and I don’t think this ballooning trade war with China is a good way to go about change. I think it is just really unwise to initiate trade disputes with virtually all our trading partners at once.


Whirlpool shares sink 14 percent as tariffs hike steel costs
36 minutes agoReuters
Related Investments
Whirlpool Corp
Last 3 Months

July 24 (Reuters) - Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp said U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods including steel contributed to an increase in raw materials costs in its U.S. business, CEO Marc Bitzer said during an investor call on Tuesday.

Whirlpool shares tumbled 14 percent to $129.96 in midday New York Stock Exchange trading. The stock fell to its lowest level in more than two years.
On Monday, the Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company reported second-quarter profit that fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Analysts at Credit Suisse lowered the price target on Whirlpool to $175 from $195 after the earnings report.

Bitzer told investors that rising costs in raw materials, unit volume decline and foreign currency volatility contributed to a slump in earnings in the second quarter. The company said it expects raw material inflation to hit $350 million in 2018.

Uncertainty related to tariffs and global trade actions have also led to increased cost of certain strategic components and finished goods import and export, Bitzer said.

The Trump administration slapped tariffs on imported washing machines earlier this year, a move that was expected to give Whirlpool a boost.
Bitzer previously praised the tariffs on washing machines during an earnings call in January, but struck a more cautious tone in April, saying the companys raw materials costs in its U.S. laundry business had risen substantially primarily due to a separate set of tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The company increased prices on its kitchen and laundry appliances earlier this year in response to rising costs.


And if Trump only got into these re-negotiations with China, he would be accused of racism. Surely you know that.

But I don’t see a good purpose in just surrendering to abusive trade practices.


Is it your contention that this administration is concerned about racism? Seriously? I don’t think that is even remotely true, but let’s just say that is and this administration has initiated a trade war with virtually all of our trading partners in order to avoid being viewed as racist. That makes it more unwise, in my opinion.


I don’t think this administration is greatly focused on racism, but one of the most non-racist things I heard in the last election was Trump’s telling blacks to vote for him because “…what do you have to lose”. Seemed to me that was addressing blacks as responsible adults.

Possibly others saw it another way.

No, it wasn’t Trump’s view of racism I was talking about. He can’t do anything without being accused of racism. We now have open borders because of those incessant accusations. If Trump did not treat all alike in re-negotiating uneven trade deals, others would accuse him of it.

I think before coming down too hard on the administration, one needs to consider the racial sensitivities of the Chinese as well. Doubtful they have forgotten the old “uneven treaties” of the colonial period.


China is an ancient society with a long history. “Colonial treaties” are less than an insignificant blip on the historical radar of the current ruling class.

Chinese Americans that I know are proud of their cultural history and the attributes that culture has handed down to them although they have little affinity for the PRC. The only animus held by Chinese Americans that I know (and only by those who are primarily older) is toward the Japanese for their brutality during WWII.


With all due respect, I think it’s different being a Chinese-American and a Chinese in China. There is resentment of the west in China.



I did not intend to insinuate that the views of Chinese Americans (even those born in China) equal the views of mainland Chinese. My initial statement made the assumption that the ruling class in China are well educated, intelligent, and have a viewpoint informed by a cultural history that spans thousands of years. The history of China includes invasions and conquests by opposing cultures that dominated China militarily, but through the centuries Chinese culture not only persevered but was never truly dominated. I think that given their history the Chinese ruling class are today not a people so easily intimidated by foreign powers that colonial treaties would hold significance for them. Actually, I don’t think that this trade war will faze them.

I did a poor job expressing my thoughts. And I muddled it further by adding anecdotal information that Chinese Americans have expressed to me resentment of the Japanese.

Because the responses on the link that you posted present a variety of views, your point in posting the link is unclear to me. However, the divergence of opinion demonstrates what I would expect - anecdotal instances of personal viewpoints from “the man in the street” in China . It was interesting. Thanks for posting it.


Trump starts a trade war and I pay more for products and my money is used to prop up farmers.

Yeah, this is genius at work. The BEST deals.


Your money has always been used to prop up farmers.


And some of us have complained about it for years. There is no reason why farmers need to be propped up.


Never said they did. After all, beef ranchers have lived without it forever and they still exist.

But congress has had grain subsidies (and others like cotton, peanuts, etc) since WWI, and I don’t think any administration or congress is going to end them.


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