Trump administration to announce aid for US farmers hit by trade spats
Farmer standing in field (Shutterstock)

The Trump administration on Tuesday plans to announce aid for U.S. farmers to help protect them from the repercussions of trade spats between the United States and China, the European Union and others, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters.

The Washington Post earlier reported that the White House was readying $12 billion in assistance, citing two people familiar with the plan.

Politico, citing two sources familiar with the plan, also reported said the administration will pay for the trade-related aid through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s broad authority and two commodity support programs in a farm bill under consideration in Congress.

Representatives for the USDA could not be immediately reached for comment. Farmers have been a particular target in the ongoing clash over trade policy as other countries seek to retaliate for U.S. President Donald Trump’s duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminum imports from European Union, Canada and Mexico. Those affected economies have in turn targeted U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.

Trump defended his trade actions earlier on Tuesday.

“Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that - and everybody’s talking!” he wrote on Twitter. “Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!”

Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton and Mark Weinraub; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Marguerita Choy