WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – With the end of a trade war with China nowhere in sight, President Trump is offering a second round of financial help to farmers caught in the middle.
“It’s going to be a good time to be a farmer. We’re going to make sure of that,” Trump said.
The president unveiled a $16 billion package — $14.5 billion of that will actually go toward buying up unsold crops and prop up prices.
Ranchers and farmers joined him in the White House Thursday to make the highly anticipated announcement.
“Our farmers will be greatly helped. We want to get back to the point that they would’ve had if they had a good year,” he said.
“It’s going to be a big help. Will it be enough? I think you have to get back to something very basic. Any sort of aid will be helpful,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa).
Grassley says the money should help ease the pain for the thousands of struggling soybean farmers — something he says will give Trump more time to negotiate a better trade deal with Beijing.
“Farmers, just like most Americans, have had enough of China and they know that the president is on the right track to stop the cheating by China.”
Not everyone is applauding the announcement.
The National Farmers Union, representing roughly 200,000 farmers and ranchers, says the plan is “a short-term fix to a long-term problem” that fails to bring adequate relief.
“It’s not enough. Our farmers are hurting significantly,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D – Illinois).
She calls the package a political ploy.
“Stop using our farmers as political tools for your reelection campaign,” Duckworth said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will begin distributing aid to farmers in July.