The American farmer is the backbone of our nation, undoubtedly.
The reality is that American agriculturalists have earned their reputation as some of the hardest working and most innovative growers on the planet, all while working a land vast and varying.
But this doesn’t mean that the American farmer has it easy – not by a long shot. Despite the technical and technological prowess that our nation possesses, farmers are still very much as the whim of the weather, government, and economic factors beyond their control.
Such is the case recently, as President Trump’s trade battle with China grows ever-more turbulent.
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The White House has recognized the serious issues that these farmers face, and is stepping in to lend a helping hand.
In response to the latest round of retaliatory tariffs by China on U.S. goods, President Donald Trump said his administration is working on an aid package for farmers. The package is expected to total roughly $15 billion, according to a tweet by the President on Friday (May 10).
“Arkansas farmers could benefit from this program, but more than anything, they need for markets like China to be open without tariffs,” said Matt King, director of government relations for Arkansas Farm Bureau.
China retaliated with tariffs of $60 billion on U.S. products in the latest tariff round between the two nations. The move came after Trump raised tariff rates on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. He also slapped a 25% duty on another $325 billion of products routinely imported from China. The U.S. tariffs also went into effect on Friday.
How would the plan work, exactly?
The Trump Administration said it plans to use proceeds from the new tariffs to procure products from U.S. farmers and ship those products to countries in need over the next 18 months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to carry out that plan. Tariff opponents argue there are no proceeds to the U.S. Treasury from tariffs, with the higher rates being paid primarily by consumers.
The US-China trade war has been ongoing for some time, but ramped up in recent days as the aforementioned Beijing announcements rolled out.
Farmers across the country have been expressing concern over the lack of progress with China as of late.
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