Trump has already asked American taxpayers to bail out farmers harmed by his trade war by ordering the Department of Agriculture to distribute billions in aid.
For his next act, Trump will ask American consumers to bail out farmers harmed by his trade war now that he's dramatically escalating it.
Trump tweeted this morning that he will use proceeds from this tariffs to purchase crops grown by American farmers.
Trump said on Twitter on Friday that the U.S. will use its money from the tariffs to buy American agricultural products “in larger amounts than China ever did” and send it to “poor & starving countries” for humanitarian aid. The president indicated potential purchases of $15 billion from farmers. Soybean and grain futures held mostly steady after the announcements.
“In the meantime we will continue to negotiate with China in the hopes that they do not again try to redo deal!” Trump said on Twitter. “Our farmers will do better, faster and starving nations can now be helped.”
You can count me at least a little bit skeptical that this will actually happen, but let's be clear on what this means.
American consumers will pay for Trump's tariffs in the form of higher prices and the revenue generated by raising prices will be redistributed to farmers who are struggling because of the tariffs.
This is a feedback loop; a uroboros of Trumpism.
If the Trump regime goes through with this, it seems likely to me that whatever the federal government purchases will end up benefiting large agribusiness companies, not small-time farmers who have suffered the most.
Maybe we should call this a bailout for commodity traders, not farmers.