Republican Senators: Trump’s Farmer ‘Welfare’ Won’t Work

By Bob Fredericks

President Donald Trump set off a wave of outrage on Tuesday among Republican lawmakers, who accused the president of authorizing a “bailout” and “welfare” for Americans caught in the crosshairs of his own tariffs.

“It’s awful. American farmers want markets, not handouts. This is what we feared all along—that this would just turn into more aid programs,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told The Daily Beast.

Reactions—nearly all of them negative—poured in from Capitol Hill after the Department of Agriculture announced that it would authorize $12 billion in “emergency” subsidies to farmers whose businesses have been hurt by the president’s trade policies, which have sparked retaliatory tariffs from China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

“The administration creates a problem for farmers, and now they need to put them on welfare. I think that’s kind of a misplaced policy,” Corker added.

But to date, Congress has done little to substantively push back on Trump’s penchant to impose tariffs in order to correct trade imbalances, even as they’ve warned that the tariffs could hurt Republicans running for re-election this year. Continue reading: DailyBeast

Trump administration plans $12 billion bailout for US farmers hurt by (Trump’s own policies) tariffs

The same day that President Donald Trump gushed on Twitter that “tariffs are great,” his administration disclosed plans to pay billions in aid to US farmers getting slammed by tariffs on their goods, a new report said Tuesday.

The emergency bailout aimed to ease the financial and political pain caused by Trump’s escalating trade and tariff war in key electoral states, Trump wants to buy some votes before the November mid-term elections sources told CNBC.

The total bailout is reportedly about $12 billion, and the official announcement — which the network said would likely target dairy, pork and soy products — could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon, hours after the president’s tweet.

“Tariffs are the greatest!” Trump wrote. “Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs.”

Few outside his inner circle of economic advisers seemed to agree, with House Speaker Paul Ryan voicing rare disapproval of the president’s policy.

The post sparked blowback from some other lawmakers, including GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a member of the Senate’s banking and finance committees.

“Tariffs are not great,” Toomey told CNBC, echoing Ryan. “They are taxes, paid by Americans, that harm consumers, workers, and companies.”

Trump has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imports, 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 tit-for-tat tariffs on American exports of soybeans and other products.

Retaliatory tariffs on goods such as soybeans, pork, beef and bourbon have hit farmers’ and others’ bottom lines in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky.

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