In his third appearance in three years before the largest U.S. farm group, President Trump told cheering farmers that they will get a final round of $3.6 billion in trade war payments despite trade deals intended to spur money-making ag exports. Trump pointed to an upturn in farm income, aided greatly by federal subsidies in 2018 and 2019, and predicted on Sunday, "the big stuff is yet to come."
President Trump says he and Chinese officials will sign a "phase one" trade agreement at the White House on Jan. 15 that will de-escalate the Sino-U.S. tariff war that began in earnest in mid-2018. The agreement obligates China to buy up to $50 billion a year in U.S. farm exports, more than four times the sales level forecast for this year, according to U.S. officials, but details have not been released.
Three weeks after he slammed Brazil and Argentina for actions "not good for our farmers," President Trump reversed his decision to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the South American nations, said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on social media over the weekend. "The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!" tweeted Trump on the same day.
On the same day that President Trump praised soon-to-be Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a straw poll of farmers gave Trump an approval rating of 82 percent, his highest tally yet.
With the "new NAFTA" nearing a House vote, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer assured Mexico that disputes over labor provisions of the trade agreement will be resolved by independent panels. Mexico was suspicious that a U.S. proposal to post five Labor Department attaches in Mexico City was an underhanded way of bringing foreign labor inspectors into the country.
If there is no near-term resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade war, the Trump administration will need to spend billions of dollars in additional trade war payments to farmers and ranchers or watch farm income sink, said two economists on Monday. Either way, there would be painful restructuring in the sector, which has collected more than $10 billion in Trump tariff payments this year.
Beginning on Jan. 1, Japan will lower or eliminate tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of U.S. farm exports under a “mini” trade pact that received final approval in Japan’s parliament on Wednesday.
Brazil and Argentina are taking actions that are "not good for our farmers," said President Trump on Monday, announcing high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the South American nations. Trump, who announced the tariffs on social media, said the weakening Brazilian real and Argentina peso adversely affects U.S. manufacturing and agricultural exports, making American-made goods more expensive.
Fueled by $14.5 billion in Trump tariff payments, U.S. net farm income will climb to its highest total since the commodity boom crested in 2013 and a dramatic rebound from the plunge that accompanied its collapse, the USDA estimated. When crop insurance indemnities are added to "direct farm program payments," a category that includes trade war aid, land stewardship payments and traditional crop supports, the government will provide an unusually high 31 percent of farm income this year.