As predicted, Trump's trade war with China is already wrecking American farmers to the point where the White House has essentially admitted defeat and is preparing a $12 billion farm subsidy bailout package using Dust Bowl-era programs to get around Congress.
The White House plans to announce it is extending $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in the midst of President Trump’s escalating trade war, two people briefed on the plan said, the latest sign that growing tensions between the United States and other countries will not end soon.
An announcement could come as soon as Tuesday.
Farm groups have complained that moves by China and other countries in response to Trump’s protectionist trade stance this year could cost them billions of dollars, spooking Republicans who fear a political and economic blowback to Trump’s approach.
The White House has searched for months for a way to provide emergency assistance to farmers without backing down on Trump’s trade agenda, and the new program will extend roughly $12 billion through three different mechanisms run by the Department of Agriculture.
The funds will come through direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program.
It will rely in part on a Depression-era program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, which is a division of the Agriculture Department that was created in 1933 to offer a financial backstop for farmers.
Will the rest of America get billions in bailouts after Trump tariffs add 25% inflation to the cost of cars, washing machines, groceries, farm equipment, TVs, and more? What about coal miners? What about auto workers? What about steel foundry workers? Who else gets a bailout in Trumpland?
We're about to find out. It took less than six weeks from Trump to go from "Trade wars are easy to win!" to "Here's some money to make you forget about how I destroyed your export industry."
More of these, I suspect, are coming.