Pres. Trump announces $12 billion in farm aid to help farmers

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President Donald Trump talked about tariffs and trade today with the European Commission President in hopes of preventing a transatlantic trade war. 

The European Union along with Mexico and Canada threatened with tariffs of their own this summer, some targeting U.S. exports of agriculture products.

China did the same after President Trump imposed $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

Now, the Trump administration is offering $12 billion in aid to American farmers hurt by these tariffs.

As negotiations continue, the hope is to prevent a transatlantic trade war from joining the tariff fight already brewing across the Pacific with China.

“Most farmers are of the opinion that this is something that badly needed for right now, it’s a dire situation out there on the farms and ranchers of America and Texas as well,” says Gene Hall, the director of communications for the Texas Farm Bureau.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it would provide $12 billion in relief for farmers hurt by tariffs levied in retaliation to President Trump’s attempt to get a better deal from other countries.

Kevin Huffman, a local farmer in McGregor, understands the president’s move, but he doesn’t want to lose the family farm because of it. 

“We don’t ever want to jeopardize our food security  we don’t want to ever have to go to another country and rely on them to bring us food,” Huffman explains.

Hall says this aid package is just a short-term solution.

“We consider this to be a stop gap, a temporary program that will help farmers and ranchers whether the impact of the trade war, without it I think we are going to be looking at a lot of farm and ranch families being forced off the farm and having to do something else,” Hall explains.

The funding will be split between three USDA programs to help farmers and ranchers meet the costs of disrupted markets. 

Hall says “There will be some payments to the farmers where the markets have declined far beneath the cost of doing the crop.”

Hall also says the Texas Farm Bureau has been complaining for quite some time and is glad the president is doing something about it. 

“Farmers and ranchers want to get their money through the market place and to do that you need a fair and robust trade system where everyone plays by the rules,” Hall explains.

Right now a lot of the details are still being worked out on how it all works, but officials says farmers will begin seeing payments sometime in September. 

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