Trump administration announces $12 billion 'bailout' for farmers

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other USDA officials say the aid will be available in three forms direct payments government purchases for distribution to food banks and development of new export markets

US President Donald Trump has reached an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker aimed at averting a transatlantic trade war, easing tensions stoked by Mr Trump's threat to impose tariffs on auto imports.

US President Donald Trump suggested on late Tuesday that the European Union should simultaneously with the United States lift all customs tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies.

China and other top United States trade partners zeroed in on American farmers with retaliatory tariffs after the administration imposed duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

Trump also said the European Union had agreed to buy "a lot of soybeans" and increase its imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S.

In recent months, Trump has also started a trade dispute with China after the USA implemented tariffs for what it called unfair trade practices by Beijing.

"I had one intention today, to make a deal, and we made a deal", Juncker said.

Donald Trump has hailed a "very big day for free and fair trade" after reaching a deal to avert a full-blown trade war with the EU.

"From the standpoint of the United States, we have never done this well, but we're going to do better after we do this deal and other deals that we are now working on".

Those affected economies have in turn targeted United States agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.

Juncker responded by thanking the president and called it a "good, constructive meeting".

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other USDA officials say the aid will be available in three forms direct payments government purchases for distribution to food banks and development of new export markets
Trump greets EU chief, says US seeks 'level playing field' on trade

Mark Recker, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says his corn and soybean harvests face plunging prices because of tariffs imposed by China, Mexico and the European Union. China alone imported $12.3 billion of U.S. soybeans past year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In May, Trump abandoned a framework for trade negotiations with China within days of it being announced, before ratcheting up tariffs.

It is a far cry from two weeks ago, when some Germans were questioning his fitness for the job after he was seen staggering - due to sciatica, he insisted, not alcohol - during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit where Trump was busy trashing his European allies. -U.S. trade proposal triggered resistance from social and environmental activists.

Finally, they said they wanted to resolve the tit-for-tat tariffs row, following the U.S. imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on European exports.

Beijing cancelled orders for American crops in an intensifying trade war with the US. But others were wary, wondering whether it's realistic to expect Europe to buy more soybeans from the United States, as Juncker signaled, or to become "a massive buyer" of USA liquefied natural gas, as Trump declared.

China has counterpunched with tariffs on American products, including soybeans and pork - a shot at Trump supporters in the USA heartland.

He added that there would be an increase on trade in services and agriculture.

Unless Juncker and Trump plan to start jamming soybeans down European throats, foie gras-style, there's simply no way that Europe can possibly consume enough soybeans to make up for the loss of China as an American export market.

Trump's event with a smorgasbord of American goods came at the start of a week in which trade discussions are expected to dominate, including talks with European officials and a trip to IL in which the President is planning to visit a community helped along by his steel tariffs.

"We have more confidence in him now than we did before", said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

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