NZ farmers dismayed at U.S. farm bailout as trade war deepens

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

"This is a short-term solution to allow President [Donald] Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire USA economy", USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

Before departing for Kansas City, Trump tweeted that any US trade partner needs to either negotiate a "fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs".

"If we could have no tariffs and no barriers and no subsidies, the United States would be extremely pleased", Trump said.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has officially announced the US$12 billion support measures, saying they are in line with the estimated US$11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.

The Agriculture Department said the proposal would include direct assistance for farmers, purchases of excess crops and trade promotion activities aimed at building new export markets.

"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.

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump slammed critics of his trade policies on Wednesday, warning they are undermining his negotiating position while American farmers are being "ripped off".

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at an worldwide summit in South Africa that the world faces "a choice between cooperation and confrontation", in remarks that criticized escalating US tariffs on goods from China and other major trading partners.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused China of "vicious" tactics on trade as he prepared for tough negotiations with European leaders in an escalating trade battle among world powers.

Thomas Keeps Lead Before Decisive Week
The Italian was suspended by Sky for six weeks after he admitted to racially abusing Kevin Reza at last year's Tour de Romandie. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) tried to attack over the top of the day's big climb, the Pic de Nore, 40km from Carcassonne .

A second proposal would be for a TTIP-lite deal, reducing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, acomprehensive trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union pursued by Barack Obama and dumped by Trump, to a limited one focused only on industrial tariffs.

"It's a Band-Aid on a broken leg", said Michael Petefish, a 33-year-old Trump supporter and fifth generation soybean farmer in southern Minnesota. "I don't think threats bring us closer to a solution", he told German public TV station ARD on Tuesday.

It said trading nations like New Zealand work best when everyone agrees on the rules of global commerce, and uncertainty caused by trading disputes is the last thing farmers need. Responding in kind, Beijing slapped tariffs worth $34 billion on 545 American goods - including a number of agricultural products, like soybeans.

Perdue's aid package, which had been in the works for months, comes under a Great Depression-era program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, a division of the Agriculture Department that was created in 1933 to provide a financial backstop for farmers. Officials said Congressional approval is not required - only Congressional notification.

"When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity", he said. "They've gotten free trade agreements recently done with Canada and Mexico, and we're sitting on the sidelines.We need those agreements in place".

"Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the U.S.is a "'piggy bank' that's being robbed".

Some of fruits to be hardest hit by the trade policies are cherries - which are now facing a 50% tariff going into China - and apples, which have been hit by higher tariffs in China and Mexico, with India set to also implement additional duties next month in response to US duties on steel and aluminium imports.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., agreed, calling the aid "trade-war bailouts". "And President Trump is the first one to call them on that". He noted that countries "that have treated us unfairly on trade for years" are coming to Washington to negotiate.

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