Farmers slam Trump's China tariffs despite billions spent on aid packages - 'farmers do not want a payout'
- The US collected $63 billion in tariffs in the year through to June, abut half of which was from new tariffs on China.
- But roughly an equal amount of those fresh levies went back on aid to farmers who had been left stricken due to the effect of the trade war on crop exports.
- Farmers are slamming Trump saying the new payments aren't filling the void, and are not helping ranchers in the long-run.
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The US treasury collected an extra $27 billion in additional tariffs levied by the Trump administration on China this year, but almost all of that was spent on farmer rescue packages.
That's according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a trade group made up of businesses that oppose Trump's tariffs.
In total, the US Treasury collected $63 billion in tariffs on goods in the year through to June 30, bumped by the rise in levies earlier this year - with Trump's additional 25% tariff raising roughly $27 billion, the group said on its website.
To cover the effects of the trade war, the Trump administration authorized $12 billion in farm rescue funds last year, and announced an additional $16 billion in May, totalling $28 billion, or $1 billion more than what has been raised in new Chinese tariffs.
Farmers were not appeased by the aid, though, and have continued to slam Trump's policies.
"Farmers do not want to live on government payments and farmers do not want a payout, they want certainty in markets so they can sell their goods for a good price," Jenny Hopkinson, senior government relations representative of the National Farmers Union, the second largest farmers union in the US, told Business Insider.
One-hit aid packages might not help farmers in the long run, says the NFU. If fields are left rotting due to crops not being sold, then in the long term, ranchers' employment prospects dim.
"Some are not getting enough to live on, and now we are in our sixth year of declining income," said Hopkins.
"With the next round of payments, we might not encourage farmers to plant, and we are also seeing farmers plant crops that won't produce a good crop just so they get a pay-out which isn't what you want."
"Many farmers have been on the land for generations, so if this continues, we may some closures next year because of long-term problems on top of the tariffs," she added.
The US collected $6 billion in tariffs in June, up from $5.3 billion in May, and $4.8 billion in April.
Prior to the additional tariffs, the Wall Street Journal said that the US treasury collected roughly $30 billion in tariffs from pre-existing levies on China, Europe, and Japan.
The US is now on track to collect $72 billion in tariffs annually, and could hit $100 billion if the additional 10% of tariffs are levied, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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