In the meantime, the government has been looking for ways in which the Department of Agriculture can help farmers survive the pain of retaliation. As part of the program announced on Tuesday, the department will use the financial resources of a program known as the Commodity Credit Corporation to help American farmers buy their crops.
The initiative, which does not require any new approved money and therefore no congressional approval, was an opportunity for Mr. Trump to suppress criticism of his trade policy. But it was also an unequivocal signal that the president has no plans to lift his tariffs soon, as Senators of the Farm Belt have pleaded.
"This trade war is wiping its legs among the peasants and the White House plan is to spend 12 billion on gold crutches," said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska. "The tariffs and bailouts of this government will not make America great again, they will not make it until 1929."
A trade group leader said farmers need contracts, not help, for stability.
The best relief for the President's trade war would be the cessation of the trade war, "said Brian Kuehl, the Executive Director of the Farmers for Free Trade group, adding: This proposed action would only be short-term attempt by the tariffs "
Plant groups say their members have already suffered from lower global commodity prices and natural disasters. The prospect of retaliation has further boosted the global markets for soybeans, meat and other US agricultural exports, and farmers warn that tariffs cost valuable foreign contracts that take years to gain.
The White House has argued that tariffs are a bargaining strategy that allows the president to achieve better trade agreements and that the pain caused by tariffs is small compared to potential economic gains.