Sep 23, 2019

Farm aid from Trump’s trade war has cost more than double the 2009 auto bailout

Photo: Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Farmer subsidies from the Trump administration aimed at mitigating the effects of the U.S.-China trade war have reached $28 billion, about double the amount of money shelled out in the government bailout of Detroit automakers in 2009, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Trump's bailout still doesn't cover all of the farmers' losses. The government has provided $973 million in aid to Iowa farmers during a trade war that is estimated to have cost them $1.7 billion in losses, according to Iowa State University researchers cited by Bloomberg.

The big picture: The farmers' losses are just another data point underscoring the negative effects that the trade war has had on Americans. It has led to bigger trade deficits with China, dented consumer sentiment and is weighing down the global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Yes, but: Despite those losses, the trade war doesn't appear to have broken Trump's support in rural areas.

  • Trump had a 52% approval rating among people in rural areas in August, compared to a 40% approval rating overall, per Gallup.
  • Trump's support among farmers increased from 60% to 67% between 2018 and 2019, according to a Farm Futures poll taken this summer.

Go deeper: Tough times in farm country

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Billionaire W.Va. governor's family business received maximum amount of trade war farm aid

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The family business of billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) received the maximum $125,000 allowed under a federal program designed to aid farmers during the U.S.-China trade war, according to records reviewed by AP.

By the numbers: Justice's farming company took in $121,398 in soybean subsidies and $3,602 for corn — despite the fact that the median payments for the program are $6,438 and $152, respectively. A study of Department of Agriculture data from earlier this year showed that more than 50% of the farm aid went to the nation's largest and wealthiest farms.

Go deeper: Farm aid from Trump's trade war has cost more than double the 2009 auto bailout

Keep ReadingArrowOct 17, 2019

Trump's promises on "phase 1" deal with China fall flat

President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2017. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

It's been a week since President Trump touted his "phase 1" partial trade agreement with China as the greatest-ever deal for U.S. farmers — but China isn't endorsing his promises.

Where it stands: China has not confirmed Trump's claim that it will buy $40 billion–$50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, and it says a final deal would require the U.S. to cancel all existing and future tariffs, CNBC reports. No final decision has been reached to determine if the U.S. will push tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

U.S. trade deficit grows to $54.9 billion in August

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, jumping for the first time in 3 months due to increased imports, reports the AP from Commerce Department data.

Why it matters: Though it had fallen in June and July, the country's overall trade deficit is still up for the year as a result of President Trump's ongoing trade war with China.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019