Trade: Trump’s farm aid plan draws GOP ire
The Trump administration will distribute up to $12 billion in aid to farmers caught in the trade war’s crossfire, said Damian Paletta and Caitlin Dewey in The Washington Post. The move seeks “to temper growing Republican dissent over President Trump’s trade policies,” as China, Mexico, and other countries retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. But corn, wheat, and soybean farmers have likely already lost $13 billion, according to one study—more than Trump is offering in aid. The package has hardly appeased Republicans, who say America’s farmers “don’t want to be paid to lose”—they need access to foreign markets, not handouts.
Republican lawmakers are bristling at Trump’s “tit-for-tat tariff wars,” said Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ana Swanson in The New York Times. The notion that their party, once “the bastion of free markets,” is “picking winners and losers” in a self-made trade war is too much for some. Lawmakers want to know whether manufacturing and energy industries would be compensated, too. “Where do you draw the line?” asked Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Tennessee’s Bob Corker was even more direct. “You have a terrible policy that sends farmers to the poorhouse, and then you put them on welfare, and we borrow the money from other countries,” he said. ■