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EU ready to respond to U.S. tariffs with duties worth $20B

25 July, 2018, 23:47 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • 'Making America 1929 Again': GOP Sen. Sasse Rips Trump on Tariffs, Planned Farmer 'Bailout'

Mr. Trump is also scheduled to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss his administration's proposed plan to offer $12 billion in aid to farmers hardest hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by US trading partners.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will signal the EU's willingness to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement on manufactured goods, or a so-called plurilateral sectoral agreement between all major vehicle exporters which would cut or eliminate tariffs on automobiles globally. Soybean farmers in IL tell me that since the start of the president's trade war, they've seen their crop value drop by 20 per cent.

In addition to the direct impact of tariffs on American farm products, farmers have also been hurt by USA tariffs on foreign steel imports.

Trump says at the top of the Oval Office meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD' YUN'-kur) and trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom that he's looking for a fair trade deal with the EU and is hopeful the leaders can work something out.

"You have a awful policy that sends farmers to the poorhouse, and then you put them on welfare, and we borrow the money from other countries", said GOP Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Extra farm aid would be a balm to producers who are seeing prices drop and inventories rise because of disputes with China, Canada and other trade partners who are significant purchasers of US pork, soybeans and other crops.

The White House has made a decision to direct $12 billion in emergency aid to American farmers, to help take the sting out of the trade war that President Donald Trump started.

"President Trump personally promised me that agriculture would be held harmless as he worked on trade, and today's announcement of $12 billion in USDA assistance for disrupted markets confirms his intention to keep his promise to me", said King. "This is a short-term bridge to help President Trump negotiate trade deals".

In a speech to in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday, the president aggressively defended his trade policies.

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Juncker, the European Commission's president, said of the EU and United States, which represent half the world's trade: "We are close partners, allies - not enemies".

A second proposal would be for a TTIP-lite deal, reducing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, acomprehensive trade agreement between the USA and the European Union pursued by Barack Obama and dumped by Trump, to a limited one focused only on industrial tariffs. "I don't want us to have yet another one". Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (R) said, "America's farmers don't want to be paid to lose - they want to win by feeding the world". China, meanwhile, retaliated with duties on pork and soybeans.

Republicans criticized the Trump administration's aid program, calling on him to instead reverse tariffs.

"The actions today are a firm statement that other nations can not bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in", agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters during a conference call announcing the program.

The funds, however, will not be spent until Labor Day in early September, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday, just months before the midterm elections.

Preliminary details of the agricultural aid program that emerged Tuesday indicate the administration will tap the Commodity Credit Corporation, an entity created during the Great Depression to support farmers, to borrow directly from the Treasury for aid to agriculture.

Soybeans, the second-most valuable USA crop after corn, have been especially hard hit - exports to China accounted for about one-third of the oilseed's revenue a year ago. "If we cede once, we will often have to deal with such behavior in the future", Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter.

But more voices even in Mr Trump's own Republican Party are coming out against his confrontational stance.

"We can not exclude either possibility, but China would not want to see the latter", he said. The US trade deficit with China in 2017 came in at $375.6 billion, according to Census Bureau data, though adding that figure to this year's data through May comes out to about $528 billion.

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