Trump administration proposes $12 billion subsidy for farmers

President Trump signs memorandum imposing new tariffs on China (C-SPAN)
President Trump signs memorandum imposing new tariffs on China (C-SPAN)

President Trump signs memorandum imposing new tariffs on China. He's then asked about testifying before the special counsel. Full video here:

Mark Trahant

President tweets: 'Tariffs are the greatest ... all will be great'

Will American Indian farmers get relief? Tuesday the Trump administration proposed spending $12 billion to help farmers recover from trade retaliation caused by the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

President Donald J. Trump has set out to protect American manufacturing by imposing tariffs, or taxes, on products from other countries that he says have unfair advantages. Other countries, including China, Canada, and the European Union, have responded with taxes of their own, making it much more difficult to sell U.S. products in other countries. (Related: What is a tariff and how does it impact Indian Country?)

Tuesday the president tweeted: “Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that - and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!”

Then later in the day the administration announced that $12 billion would be made available for famers who are impacted by the growing trade war. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this is a one time program to buy the president enough time to secure a better trade deal.

However Republicans in Congress are not so sure. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told NBC News that the subsidy is “an acknowledgement” by the president that imposing tariffs “has a lot of unintended consequences that creates a lot of collateral damage. When you start doing this, where do you stop?” he said.

Wednesday morning the president tweeted: “Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking? Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No weakness!”

Agriculture is big business in Indian Country. The 2012 Census data which showed that the 56,092 farms and ranches operated by 71,947 Native Americans sold a total of $3.24 billion in agriculture products. The average size of a farm or ranch operated by Native Americans is 200 percent larger than the national farm size average. However the Intertribal Agriculture Council says the census significantly underreports Native American agriculture activity.

There is no word yet from the Trump administration about how the subsidy would work and what would be required in order for farmers to apply.

Soybeans are one crop that is already seeing the impact of the trade war. China buys some two-thirds of all U.S. soybeans and the price is already at a ten-year low because of the tariffs.

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, also introduced legislation to help farmers by making Trade Adjustment Assistance available to farmers and producers whose exports are hurt by retaliation.

“North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers don’t want a handout – they want access to markets to sell their goods. But as long as the administration pushes a trade war that lowers commodity prices and puts North Dakota agriculture at risk, Congress should act to give farmers and ranchers some certainty that they’ll be protected from losses caused by retaliatory tariffs against their goods,” Heitkamp said in a news release**.** “As producers watch prices for the crops in their fields decline, this legislation would give them some peace of mind that they’ll be able to access help if they need it – but the only truly long-term solution to strengthen our farm economy is to give up this misguided trade war and work to expand markets for our farmers and ranchers. Right now, I fear that farmers and ranchers will feel long-term ramifications from this trade war because of the loss of contracts and markets, many of which took years to create. We can and must modernize current trade deals to meet the changing needs of our economy, but this trade war is treating rural America like collateral damage – and that has to end.”

Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Follow him on Twitter -@TrahantReports


Are you using the new mobile platform? Get Indian Country Today on your phone with apps from The News Maven.

Comments (7)
No. 1-5

Considering the fact that Native Americans don't like being the receiving butt of bias, prejudice, hatred, and ignorance, I suggest they extend the same courtesy, regard, and respect they want to receive from others, to President Trump. An $817 billion trade deficit is NOT GOOD for anyone living in the U.S., including Native Americans. Trump is NOT the one who created the ridiculous over-the-top detrimental deficit, his predecessors did ... including some of your 'precious" democrat presidents. So don't blame or hate Trump just because he's been given a load full of doo-doo to clean up. Instead, try being glad that he's willing to step up and take on this monstrosity head on. I can assure you, all the preceding presidents were by far, too cowardly to deal with cleaning up America's ugly, and growing debt. They were far more interested in securing your vote (and repeatedly lied to you to get it), than they were in stabilizing the economy and securing FAIR trade deals to benefit ALL Americans, including future generations of Americans. For far too long, Americans have been stupidly buying cheap garbage from other countries, most of which really has no lasting or redeeming value as a major portion of it ends up in land fills, and polluting our skies, waters, bodies, minds, and spirits. Tell me, what's the Native American response to all the cheap China imitation exports of Native American beadwork or jewelry? You don't like it, do you? Has any past president done anything to curb or end China from flooding the market with garbage imitations being sold off as 'authentic Native American'? I think Trump's tariff's might end up helping all your artists, as well as farmers. Maybe instead of jumping on the 'hate Trump' wagon, you'd be a bit smarter in realizing that Trump doesn't want any Americans to suffer because of the trade wars we have to go through to level the playing field, which is why he proposed the $12 billion subsidy. That shows he's cognizant of others, takes them into consideration, and is doing the best he can to not only remedy the national deficit (which puts a heavy burden on your children and their children for generations to come ... or don't Native Americans care about the seventh generation any more?) by insisting on better trade deals, but he's also trying to limit any burdens on the American people during this time of difficult renegotiation of what has always been a bad deal for Americans, including Native Americans. You might also realize that Trump is doing what no other previous president has dared to even think of ... his administration is going after the government pedofiles in Washington and across the nation. A lot of people in Washington, and the media, hate him for it, as he's threatening their little private pervert party. Your left-wing media won't dare touch that story, as sexual perversions and abuses are the tool used by new world order globalists to blackmail/control people in powerful positions. Your little online 'news' media is doing your own people great harm by repeatedly hating on the only person in power who is willing to stand up to real evil. You keep it up, and every child that's used, abused, and sacrificed will be able to point their finger at you for supporting truly evil people and their self-serving agendas instead of supporting those that would put an end to it. Don't be so stupid or naive as to allow yourselves to be led by liars just because it's presented to you as 'cool', 'trendy', 'smart'. Trump isn't as stupid or selfish as your far-left extremists would want you to believe. The question is ... are you?


The answer to your question is a question. Why do you assume that all indigenous people are left wing extremists? As an Indigenous American I look at the government as a bird. Birds have 2 wings, a right and a left. However they still belong to the same bird. The name of the bird is Vulture.


Because all Native American radio or online websites I've listened to or read spew left wing propaganda, it's become 'a given' ... including PBS with its 'cool' tone used to lull listeners in believing and following its 'hypnotic' whispers. Look up tools on how to hypnotize your listening audience. The sad truth is that most people are 'programmed' from birth, and it takes real awareness to realize what's going on and distance yourself from it so you can truly start thinking for yourself, experience the Real Life you were meant to live, be the person you are here to be.


#FUCKtrump and #FUCKrepublicans


If this were a story in (2009 - 2011) of US Federal subsidies, the Corporate National Medial would be ALL_OVER the POTUS coverage of giving "aid" "help""assistance" to US Farmers!