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."
As President Trump scored his second trade victory in two days, Senate approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, he asked farmers on Thursday to remember the billions of dollars they had received in trade war payments.
With the EPA expected to act as soon as Friday, biofuel supporters have called for President Trump’s direct intervention to assure a market for 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol in 2020.
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.
On the same day that China and the United States tentatively reached a “phase one” agreement on a trade deal, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that he expects producers will still receive the final $3.6 billion in trade war payments President Trump authorized last spring.
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.
Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley conceded one point this week: Steel and aluminum will be excluded from any reform of presidential power to impose tariffs based on national security interests. Even so, there is no agreement among senators on how Congress should reassert its authority over international trade.
Ahead of high-level Sino-U.S. trade talks, President Trump said on Monday that “I would much prefer a big deal” that would end the trade war, while at the same time touting the billions of dollars that farmers are receiving to mitigate the impact of lost exports.
With Sino-U.S. trade talks scheduled to resume next week, President Trump said on Thursday that “China should start an investigation into the Bidens.” He also said his administration was “looking at a lot of different things” to increase pressure on China to resolve the trade war.
President Trump’s standing among farmers rose during the same week that House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry and a White House document showed Trump asked Ukraine to dig up dirt against a political rival. Some 76 percent of respondents said they approved of the way Trump was handling …