Trump says government will help farmers; analyst responds
President Trump, in a series of tweets this morning, indicated he is prepared to provide more assistance to farmers if a trade agreement with China does not materialize.
Trump’s tweet said, “we will buy agricultural products from our Great Farmers, in larger amounts than China ever did, and ship it to poor & starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance”.
Commodities analyst Arlan Suderman with INTL FCStone had this reaction.
“I think the American farmer wants a free market answer. They would rather be producing for the marketplace than for the government,” Suderman says. “But I think the markets and farmers are also encouraged that there was some indication that there may be some relief.”
But Suderman says it’s also another one of Trump’s negotiating tactics.
“I do think it does suggest some commitment to the agricultural community. But I think it is also largely to try to send a message to China that, ‘we’re on the car lot, you’re the salesman, and we’re willing to walk away from this deal.
“Now we’ll see if that’s effective or not.”
As Trump had promised, the U.S. hiked tariffs today on more than 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods. China says it will retaliate, but has not indicated exactly how it plans to do that.
Vice President Mike Pence, at a meeting with farm leaders Thursday in northwest Minnesota, said the White House is considering “additional support” to farmers to compensate for the income lost from the trade war. Pence would not specify what form that assistance might take.