July 24 (Reuters) - The Trump administration was set on Tuesday to announce up to $12 billion in aid for U.S. farmers to shield them from the repercussions of trade spats between the United States and China, the European Union and others. STORY LINKS
COMMENTS BRIAN KUEHL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FARMERS FOR FREE TRADE
"The best relief for the presidents trade war would be ending the trade war."
"Farmers need contracts, not compensation, so they can create stability and plan for the future. This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs."
ZIPPY DUVALL, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
The $12 billion package of agricultural assistance announced today by the administration will provide a welcome measure of temporary relief to our farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the financial effects of the trade war. This should help many of our farmers and ranchers weather the rough road ahead and assist in their dealings with their financial institutions.
"We are grateful for the administrations recognition that farmers and ranchers needed positive news now and this will buy us some time. This announcement is substantial, but we cannot overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets. Our emphasis continues to be on trade and restoring markets, and we will continue to push for a swift and sure end to the trade war and the tariffs impacting American agriculture.
CASEY GUERNSEY, FORMER MISSOURI LAWMAKER AND SPOKESMAN FOR AMERICANS FOR FARMERS & FAMILIES
"Rather than accepting retaliatory tariffs and seeking to offset them with federal assistance, Americas producers believe the administration should look toward solutions that will enable them to export their homegrown goods to critical markets around the globe."
"My family got into farming to sell beef, not to accept government assistance. While we need to hold our trading partners to account and ensure fair deals are reached, our government must also pursue long-term and sustainable solutions."
BRIAN SCHAUMBERG, CORN AND SOYBEAN FARMER, CHENOA, ILLINOIS
I dont know the details but Im not thrilled. Ive spent many, many years and many checkoff dollars to build our markets and all of this got thrown in the dumpster in one tweet. We (farmers) dont want direct payments we just want open markets. Quite honestly, Ive been through the Russian (grain) embargo with (President) Carter and other trade wars nobody wins them. And I have a bad taste in my mouth over this one. I think there are better ways around this. Im sick and tired of weaponizing food. We fight bad weather, its hard to fight tariffs and embargos.
JOHN HEISDORFFER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION, SOYBEAN FARMER, KEOTA, IOWA
Our best course of action is to expand other markets and develop new ones to buy the soybeans were not selling to China. This means finishing the NAFTA negotiations as soon as possible so we can begin talks on new bilateral agreements with other key soybean markets including Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
"The American Soybean Association has consistently advised the Administration that the best way to reduce our nations trade deficit is by increasing exports, including of agricultural products.
Since the Administration has decided to use tariffs to address trade concerns with China, and China has retaliated, farmers dont have time to wait to see how this trade war turns out.
SCOTT IRWIN, AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
The direct payment program portion will be "the largest and probably the most controversial" part of the aid package.
"We have never compensated farmers directly on such a large scale for retaliatory tariffs."
"Twelve billion dollars, the vast majority of it sent to farmers mainly in the Midwest in the form of direct payments, is a shock-and-awe response to the hit that farmers have taken in the trade war."
KEVIN SKUNES, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION
"The fine print will be important. We know the package wont make farmers whole."
Shares of farm equipment companies rose. Deere & Co jumped 2.7 percent, while Caterpillar Inc gained more than 1 percent and AGCO Corp rose 0.5 percent.
Soybean futures rose 1.3 percent to their highest in two weeks