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Trump unveils $15bn aid for farmers to weather trade conflict

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Christian Fernsby |
Donald Trump
America   Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump announced nearly $15 billion in aid for American farmers, whose products could receive a hard blow from Chinese tariffs amid an escalating trade conflict, Reuters reported.

“We’re going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion, and do something reciprocal to our farmers so our farmers can do well,” President Trump was quoted by the news agency.

US farmers, a major constituency for President Trump, have been caught in the crossfire in the trade row between Washington and Beijing.

China-bound shipments of soybeans, the most valuable agricultural export, dropped in 2018 to their lowest level in 16 years, while sales elsewhere failed to offset the loss.

The new programme marks the second aid round dedicated for farmers after the US Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion plan last year to make up for lower prices for farm products and lost sales on the back of trade rows with China and other trade partners.

“Out of the billions of dollars that we’re taking [in on duties on Chinese goods], a small portion of that will be going to our farmers, because China will be retaliating, probably to a certain extent, against our farmers,” Trump said.

China stated that it will raise tariffs on a range of US imports, including frozen vegetables.

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