Good Friday. (Want this by email? Sign up here.)
A lifeline to farmers; a sign of continued trade war
President Trump yesterday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his trade war with Beijing. That signals a protracted fight lies ahead, Ana Swanson of the NYT writes.
• “The new program will make $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, for a range of products — from soybeans and cotton to chickpeas and cherries — in up to three tranches, beginning in late July or early August.”
• “The government will also put in place a $1.4 billion program to purchase surplus commodities affected by the trade war.”
Any hope of a quick resolution has faded. The U.S. and China have both hardened their positions after a trade deal collapsed this month. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that no additional meetings with Beijing were scheduled and that he was encouraging American firms to reorient their supply chains and source their products elsewhere,” Ms. Swanson notes.
“I remain hopeful that at some point we’ll get together with China,” Mr. Trump said yesterday. “If it happens, great. If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. That’s absolutely fine.”
Global markets tumbled as investors realized that the farmer payouts were a sign that Mr. Trump’s trade war is here to stay. Benchmark indexes in China, Germany and France all dropped, while the S&P 500 fell 1.2 percent.
More: The Trump administration plans to penalize countries that undervalue their currencies. Tariffs could cost the average U.S. household $831 a year. And a look at how America’s chief trade negotiator, Robert