With Jane Clayson
President Trump tweets, “Tariffs are the greatest,” but they're hurting farmers, so Trump is bailing them out. What does this tell us about his trade war?
Jay Reiners, fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer.
Ana Swanson, New York Times reporter covering trade and international economics. (@AnaSwanson)
Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (@EswarSPrasad)
From The Reading List
New York Times: "United States and Europe Forestall Trade War With Preliminary Agreement, Further Talks" — "The United States and the European Union stepped back from the brink of a trade war on Wednesday, after President Trump said the Europeans agreed to work toward lowering tariffs and other trade barriers, and to buy billions of dollars of American exports, from soybeans to natural gas. The announcement, made by Mr. Trump and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, defused, for the moment, a trade battle that began with Mr. Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports and threatened to escalate to its automobiles."
Washington Post: "Five myths about tariffs" — "President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, followed by his plan to hit China with $60 billion in tariffs, appears to augur a trade war. Worries about the stability of the international trading system have roiled financial markets and led to loud recriminations from Congress, economists and foreign leaders . As with many economic policies, tariffs can create winners, losers and lots of misconceptions."
The Guardian: "Tariffs are the greatest, tweets Trump – hours before meeting Juncker" — "Donald Trump issued a fresh threat to the EU hours before a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House, where the European commission president is to make a last-ditch effort to avert a transatlantic trade war. In a tweet, the US president suggested that it was the EU that stood in the way of free trade, and that his tough talk was forcing Brussels to the negotiating table. The US administration has already applied high tariffs to EU steel and aluminium exports, and is embroiled in a trade war with China."
CNN: "Federal aid for farmers is nothing new, but Trump's bailout is" — "American farmers already receive billions of dollars in federal aid every year to protect them when prices fall due to weather or market fluctuations. The Trump administration juiced this long-standing safety net by pledging an additional $12 billion in aid Tuesday — but this time, it's to compensate some farmers and ranchers from the fallout of President Donald Trump's widening trade feuds. The nation's agriculture sector has seen prices drop and supplies pile up as other countries impose tariffs to counter Trump's actions."
The president changed course yesterday. Amid ongoing tit-for-tat tariffs with allies and rivals, and the threat of an all-out trade war, the president agreed to negotiate with the EU. Meanwhile, he’s bailing out farmers to the tune of 12 billion bucks. And China’s tariffs are sowing anger and fear. Where is this all going? A cascade of unintended consequences or part of Trump’s grand plan?
This hour, On Point: farmers, trade wars and tariffs.
— Jane Clayson
This program aired on July 26, 2018.