Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Trump Intends $12 Billion Farm Aid To Relieve Tariff Damage from China, Other Countries

July 24, 2018 (EIRNS)—President Trump will be in three farm belt states this week: today in Missouri, Thursday, July 26 in Iowa, and Friday, July 27 in Illinois. Besides backing Republican candidates and other purposes, his presence comes as a show of support for farmers, hard hit by years of low prices under the free trade regime, and now, the impact of tariff-feuding in loss of sales. Thousands of farmers face ruin.

The farm belt, like the rust belt, after years of de-structuring, needs rebuilding and growth, which requires taking down Wall Street, new credit, and deliberate development policies, including mutually beneficial trade. However, tariffs so far remain the fixation for economic action.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today held a press conference, announcing help for farmers. His U.S. Agriculture Department statement called it, “a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy.” He told reporters,

“We’re formally announcing that the Trump Administration will be taking several actions to assist farmers in response to the trade damage caused by the illegal retaliatory tariffs that have been imposed on the United States in the past few months. The programs we’re announcing today are a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our agriculture producers to force the United States to cave in.”

The USDA release states, it “will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.”

There are to be three actions, which come under the Commodity Credit Corp., formed under FDR in 1933 to stabilize prices and farm income, and in particular, Section 32 funding: 1) payments to farmers under what is called the Market Facilitation Program; 2) federal commodity buy-ups under the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, for donating to nutrition programs; 3) activation of the Trade Program (Foreign Agriculture Program) to boost sales of U.S. commodities to new markets.

Producers of the following commodities are to be covered: soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs. The timing of payments is expected to follow harvests and the like, so the earliest might be in September for wheat, milk and pork. Details of how to sign up have yet to be worked out; they must by published in the Federal Register, etc.

The Executive branch has authority to conduct such support intervention without approval by Congress; rumors are flying that some funding will come out of the food aid program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also run by the Agriculture Department.

Trump tweeted early this morning,

“Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that—and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the ‘piggy bank’ that’s being robbed. All will be Great.”

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