Trade

Trump Floats a Third Bailout For Farmers

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not formally announced another round of bailout checks for American farmers harmed by Trump's trade war and Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue has said there won't be another bailout, but Trump took to Twitter this morning where he said there would be.

Apparently recognizing that things aren't going the way he thought they would, Trump said he would distribute aid to farmers waiting for The Deals to "fully kick in."

“If our formally targeted farmers need additional aid until such time as the trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada and others fully kick in, that aid will be provided by the federal government,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post entirely in capital letters. [...]

Last month, Trump signed a trade deal with Canada and Mexico into law, along with a separate Phase 1 accord with China that went into effect in mid-February.

Canada has not yet ratified the deal and experts had been skeptical that China, which had pledged to increase its purchases of U.S. goods by $200 billion over two years, would be able to meet the goal even before a coronavirus outbreak hit the country’s imports and exports.

If you're a farmer waiting for The Big Deals to "kick in," I have some bad news for you.

The Deals could "fully kick in" tomorrow and it wouldn't actually make a lick of difference. The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA, does not include any significant changes to rules governing agricultural trade and, as Reuters points out, there were serious doubts about China's supposed commitments even before the virus arrived.

Since the USDA has not said anything about this, I infer that Trump has been briefed that things are not going as well as his advisers said they would and he immediately jumped to Twitter to announce policy before discussing it with his cabinet.

I think it's only a matter of time before Trump ramps up his rhetoric toward China again and threatens to breach "phase one" of his "biggest and greatest deal ever." He's going to come unglued at a campaign rally and start popping off about it.

  • Badgerite

    Sounds a bit like the Foxconn deal in Wisconsin. Has Foxconn actually hired anyone who resides in Wisconsin yet? Other than the workers hired by Wisconsin taxpayers to provide Foxconn with the infrastructure they said they needed. Anyone?

  • muselet

    Even if Donald Trump’s gold-plated trade deals “fully kick in,” agricultural exports will still be down. And Trump has so monkeywrenched global trade that aid to farmers would need to be effectively permanent.

    The White House, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office all declined to comment.

    Which means Trump didn’t bother to let anyone in government know what he was going to tweet.

    I’ll bet someone at Trump reelection headquarters knew in advance, though.

    –alopecia

  • fry1laurie

    Must continue the (taxpayer funded) bribes to farmers. Election coming up!

    • muselet

      I had exactly the same thought.

      –alopecia