Trump on Trade Critics: 'What Can They Be Thinking?'

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Kasich, a frequent Trump critic, made the comments to The Associated Press just a day after the Trump administration announced it would offer upward of $12 billion in emergency relief to USA farmers, the group hit hardest by retaliatory tariffs from the administration's protracted trade battle.

On Tuesday night, Trump issued a tweet proposing that both the US and the European Union drop all three as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prepares to visit Washington for trade talks on Wednesday.

Before departing for Kansas City, Trump tweeted that any USA trade partner needs to either negotiate a "fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs".

China targeted tariffs on US farm products after Trump imposed new steel and aluminum tariffs earlier this year, selecting crops and products in areas where Trump enjoys support. "Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs", Trump tweeted.

Farm products have borne the brunt of tariffs imposed by trading partners angered by United States trade actions, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the aid program will provide relief.

His defense came after his administration announced a plan to provide $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers who have been slammed by the president's trade disputes with China and other countries.

The negotiations at the White House came as Trump has touched off a series of trade disputes with global trading partners, including China, whom he accused earlier Wednesday of employing "vicious" tactics aimed at hurting American farmers.


President Trump "has promised that he had the back of every American farmer and rancher", Perdue said.

"This obviously is a short-term solution that will give President Trump time to work on a long-term trade policy", Perdue said. "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again", he said.

"I want to know what we're going to say to the automobile manufacturers and the petrochemical manufacturers and all the other people who are being hurt by tariffs", said Sen.

Mr. Trump has suggested a zero-tariff deal to level the trade playing field and create what he calls a "fair and reciprocal" trading relationship.

Payments will be made to soybean, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hog farmers. "I don't think there is enough money in the government to make anybody whole", Ebert said.

The temporary aid is more of an admission by the president of the "huge impact" the trade war is having on farmers, said Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, which has more than 45,000 members in the state.

This will help producers of soy, sorghum, corn, wheat, pork, dairy, fruit, rice and nuts, all products hit by tariffs imposed in response to U.S. actions.


But the foreign minister of Germany, Europe's biggest economy, said Tuesday that the continent "will not be threatened by President Trump".

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., blasted the plan on Twitter. Since March, he has imposed blanket tariffs on almost all imports of steel and aluminum and placed penalties on $34 billion in goods from China, a total likely to increase to $50 billion next month and into the hundreds of billions later this year.

"This is becoming more and more like a Soviet-type of economy here: Commissars deciding who's going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they're going to sprinkle around benefits", said Sen.

A number of other Republicans have also criticized Trump for both the tariffs and the ensuing bailout.

He says he'd prefer there be no tariffs or barriers at all.

In a tweet, the U.S. president suggested that it was the European Union that stood in the way of free trade, and that his tough talk was forcing Brussels to the negotiating table.


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