GOP senators voice doubts on farm tariff relief

Roberts: 'they would much prefer trade, rather than aid'

July 24, 2018 - 6:58 pm

Congressional Republicans are expressing deep skepticism of Trump administration's plan to bail out farms hit by tariffs, saying farmers want free trade, not handouts.

Agricultural Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, (R-Kansas), said "they would much prefer trade, rather than aid."

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Nebraska), said Trump's trade war "is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House's 'plan' is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches."

Senators said the aid package could help short-term, but they're worried about losing long-term access to export markets. "When the tariff war is over... how do we get those markets back?" asked Sen. Jerry Moran, (R-Kansas).

Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tennessee), said "instead of offering welfare to farmers" to solve a problem the administration created, it "should reverse course and end this incoherent policy."

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