Speed Reads

Trade Wars

GOP senators say Trump's farm relief package is a dud

Some Senate Republicans are not impressed by the Department of Agriculture's announcement on Tuesday that farmers hurt by tariffs will receive $12 billion in aid.

The program will offer temporary relief as it offsets $11 billion in losses for soybean, cotton, sorghum, wheat, dairy, and pork producers, NBC News reports. Several senators said the Trump administration's tariffs targeting China, Canada, and Europe are harming farmers, and they want to see trade agreements like NAFTA finalized.

The program is "an acknowledgement" that imposing tariffs "has a lot of unintended consequences that creates a lot of collateral damage," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said. "When you start doing this, where do you stop? This is not the right way to do this." Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told NBC News the tariffs are "going to make it 1929 again. You choose a war of choice, which is what this trade war is, and then you say afterward, let's just solve it by buying people gold plated crutches? The farmers and ranchers of America, they don't want crutches, they want to work."

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) likened the program to "welfare," and said instead of offering money to "farmers to solve a problem they themselves created, the administration should reverse course and end this incoherent policy."