Bloomberg Business reports:
China hawks in Trump’s administration want Beijing to quit subsidizing strategic industries, yet that hasn’t deterred the White House from doling out billions in aid to American farmers, who have become more dependent on government money than they’ve been in years.
At $28 billion so far, the farm rescue is more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, which cost taxpayers $12 billion. And farmers expect the money to keep flowing: In an August survey by Purdue University and the CME Group, 58% said they anticipate another round of trade aid next year.
Farmers became collateral damage in Trump’s tit-for-tat tariff war with China, which is being waged primarily for the benefit of such sectors as manufacturing and tech. Agriculture is actually one of the rare U.S. industries that consistently runs a trade surplus, and not just with China—testimony to the gains that have accrued to American farmers from globalization.