Epic Fail: Trump's Bailout for Farmers Impacted by His Trade War with China Could Go to a Chinese Company

Epic Fail: Trump's Bailout for Farmers Impacted by His Trade War with China Could Go to a Chinese Company

Donald Trump's plan to defeat China on trade is a complete disaster. His tariffs against China have devastated the agricultural sector, killing jobs in parts of the country that voted for him, and forcing him to implement a billion-dollar bailout of American farms.


But nothing better underscores Trump's incompetence than a new report in the Washington Post, detailing an embarrassing oversight in the eligibility for that bailout program:

Smithfield Foods, a Virginia-based pork producer acquired in 2013 by a Chinese conglomerate now named WH Group, can apply for federal money under the bailout program created this summer, said Agriculture Department spokesman Carl E. Purvis.

[...]

The Agriculture Department said in August that, as part of a broader bailout, it will buy $1.2 billion of surplus food from farmers for distribution in food banks across the country, including about $560 million in planned pork purchases. The administration has billed the plan as an effort to shield farmers from retaliatory tariffs from China.

So in other words: to counteract the negative effects of his gigantic tariffs that made it impossible for many American farmers to sell to China, Trump is bailing them out with billions in deficit spending partly loaned from China — and some of that bailout could actually go to a company based in China!

It's hard to understand how Trump expects any of this will help American farmers, or improve our economic position against China. Especially considering that, despite his assurances that trade wars are "easy to win," he did not seem to have any actual goal when he slapped tariffs on Chinese goods in the first place.

Even many Republicans have lamented the stupidity of their president's trade war. Nonetheless, most of the party has sat by and allowed him to do anything he wants, blocking an amendment to the farm bill that would have required Trump to seek congressional approval to raise tariffs.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.