May 26, 2019 - Economy

Beto on Trump's trade war: He's the arsonist who wants to be the firefighter

2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that when it comes to Trump's trade war and his latest round of aid for struggling farmers, the president is "both the arsonist who created this problem in the first place and the firefighter who wants the credit for addressing it."

"From listening to farmers that I've met all over this country, and especially in Iowa, they're not looking for bailouts. They want to connect with those markets that they have worked a lifetime to establish, markets that are now closed to them because of this trade war. ... In the short term, we absolutely have to make sure that they're OK. But we should never have been in this place in the first place."

Why it matters: Farmers are currently living through the worst economic crisis in nearly 30 years, an issue that has only been exacerbated by retaliatory tariffs stemming from Trump's trade war with China. The $16 billion aid package that the administration announced last week will likely not be sufficient if the trade war continues through 2020, as some experts have predicted.

Go deeper: Trump's trade war will be a major factor in the 2020 election

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