In this 2018 photo, a lenticular cloud forms a cap atop Mount Rainier behind cranes that service container ships in Seattle. From airplanes made by Boeing to apples, cherries and wheat grown by farmers, no other state is more dependent on international trade than Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

In this 2018 photo, a lenticular cloud forms a cap atop Mount Rainier behind cranes that service container ships in Seattle. From airplanes made by Boeing to apples, cherries and wheat grown by farmers, no other state is more dependent on international trade than Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Trump sending another $16 billion to ailing farmers

Foreign trading partners have retaliated against U.S. policy with tariffs on agricultural products.

By Paul Wiseman, Christopher Rugaber and Christopher Bodeen / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is delivering another $16 billion in aid to farmers hurt by his trade policies, an effort to relieve the economic pain among his supporters in rural America.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the first of three payments is likely to be made in July or August and suggested that U.S. negotiators may be weeks away from settling a bitter trade dispute with China.

The latest bailout comes atop $11 billion in aid Trump provided farmers last year.

Trump, seeking to reduce America’s trade deficit with the rest of the world and with China in particular, has imposed import taxes on foreign steel, aluminum, solar panels and dishwashers and on thousands of Chinese products.

U.S trading partners have lashed back with retaliatory tariffs of their own, focusing on U.S. agricultural products in a direct shot at the American heartland, where support for Trump runs high.

“The package we’re announcing today will ensure that farmers will not bear the brunt of those trade actions,” Perdue said.

Financial markets buckled Thursday on heightened tensions between the U.S. and China. The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points in mid-day trading.

U.S. crude plunged 6 percent on fears that the trade standoff could knock the global economy out of kilter and kill demand for energy.

Talks between the world’s two biggest economies broke off earlier this month with no resolution to a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive efforts to challenge American technological dominance. The U.S. charges that China is stealing technology, unfairly subsidizing its own companies and forcing U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets if they want access to the Chinese market.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to discuss the standoff at a meeting of the Group of 20 major economies in Osaka, Japan, next month.

But briefing reporters on the farm aid package, Perdue said he doubted that “a trade deal could be consummated before” the first payments to farmers in July or August.

In Beijing, China held the door open to resuming talks in the tariff war with Washington on Thursday, but lashed out at limits on access to key technologies that it said might hurt global supply chains.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China hopes to restart the talks that broke down earlier this month after the U.S. hiked tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, but only if the conditions are deemed fair.

“China is open to the door of dialogue, but sincerity is indispensable to make a consultation meaningful,” Lu said at regularly scheduled briefing. “A mutually beneficial agreement must be based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

Seeking to rally support for its side in the tariff war, Beijing is vehemently protesting the Trump administration’s decision last week to impose controls on exports of computer chips and other key components.

The move, mainly aimed at telecom equipment maker Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies, will hinder global cooperation in science and technology and has “harmed the vital interests of relevant enterprises and countries,” Lu said.

A spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said Washington was “using American national power to suppress Chinese companies.”

This “not only seriously disrupts regular business cooperation between the sides’ enterprises, but also seriously threatens the security of the global industrial supply chain,” the spokesman, Gao Feng, told reporters.

The Trump administration has singled out Huawei, accusing it of posing a security threat. As a result, U.S. allies and their companies increasingly have put cooperation with the company on hold.

On Wednesday, Britain’s EE and Vodafone and Japan’s KDDI and Y! Mobile said they were holding off on the launch of Huawei smartphones, including some that can be used on next generation mobile networks, amid uncertainty about the devices from the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker.

As the trade dispute drags on, battering Chinese manufacturers and raising uncertainty for investors, Beijing has stepped up efforts to sway opinion in its favor both at home and abroad.

That extends even to neighboring countries whose economies are unlikely to be much affected by friction between Beijing and Washington.

Speaking to members of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization at a meeting in Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed to match “extreme pressure” from the U.S. with its own measures.

The trade frictions have “aroused great concern from the international community,” Wang said. “I stress to everyone that China’s actions are not just about preserving our own legitimate rights and interests but also to maintain the norms of international relations and safeguard the international free trading system.”

Wang, whose comments Wednesday were posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website, said representatives of the group had expressed “broad support” for China’s position.

A security-oriented group dominated by Moscow and Beijing, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization also includes Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan and several observer states and “dialogue partners.”

Beijing has already responded to Trump’s tariff hikes on $250 billion of Chinese imports by slapping penalties on $110 billion of American goods. Based on last year’s trade, that leaves about $45 billion in imports from the U.S.

They include semiconductors and other critical inputs needed by fledgling Chinese tech industries.

So far, Beijing has sought to win sympathy and support by burnishing its credentials as a rules-abiding member of the World Trade Organization.

China has hinted it could also leverage its role as the main global supplier of rare earths used in smartphones, lightweight magnets, batteries and other components to slap back. It could also target Apple and other companies that rely on Chinese manufacturing and sales.

Talk to us

More in Nation-World

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Fauci: US may see ‘surge upon surge’ of virus in weeks ahead

He does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas.

FILE - Election workers, right, verify ballots as recount observers, left, watch during a Milwaukee hand recount of presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin finished a partial recount of its presidential results on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Completed Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump

Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump.

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2020, file photo provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety shows a metal monolith in the ground in a remote area of red rock in Utah. The mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. The Bureau of Land Management said it had received credible reports that the three-sided stainless steel structure was removed on Nov. 27.  (Utah Department of Public Safety via AP, File)
Mysterious silver monolith disappears from Utah desert

It vanished less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists from a helicopter.

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 20, 2017 file photo a Boing 737 MAX 9 airplane performs a demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show, in Le Bourget, east of Paris, France. Europe’s aviation regulator has taken a step closer to letting the Boeing 737 Max fly again. It published a proposed airworthiness directive on Tuesday that could see it clear the aircraft within weeks to resume flying after nearly two years and a pair of deadly crashes. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, file)
European regulator moves to clear Boeing 737 for flight

The move comes after the FAA already cleared the Boeing 737 Max earlier this month.

FILE - This May 5, 2019, file photo shows Alex Trebek gestures while presenting an award at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, Calif. Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek died Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years. Trebek died at home with family and friends surrounding him, “Jeopardy!” studio Sony said in a statement. Trebek presided over the beloved quiz show for more than 30 years. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Alex Trebek, ‘Jeopardy’ host and trivia master, has died at 80

He had suffered a series of medical complications in recent years, and died at his home.

Weekly COVID-19 infections in nursing homes in 20 states have been rising since May. (AP Graphic)
Nursing home COVID-19 cases rise four-fold in surge states

Resident deaths more than doubled, according to study by University of Chicago health researchers.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The vote is in: Joe Biden to become 46th president of U.S.

The victory comes after days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes.

Republican candidate for Senate Sen. David Perdue speaks during a campaign stop at Peachtree Dekalb Airport Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. The outcome in several contested states will determine whether Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump. But if the Democratic challenger wins, the ambitions of a Biden presidency could well come down to Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Twin Senate runoffs in Georgia could shape Biden presidency

Should Democrats win them, Biden would would increase his chances for passing legislation.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden joined by Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the The Queen theater Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Biden on cusp of presidency after gains in Pennsylvania

Trump is testing his presidential powers in undermining America’s confidence in the vote.

People demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol to urge that all votes be counted, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Biden pushes closer to victory in race for the White House

To win, Trump would need to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.

FILE—John Hickenlooper, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado, speaks during a car rally for Doug Emhoff, husband of Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, at East High School late Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Denver. More than 70 motorists took part in the rally to urge people to get out and vote in the upcoming election. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Democrats losing paths to Senate control as GOP hangs on

Several races remained undecided into Wednesday and at least one headed to a runoff in January.

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House early Wednesday (AP Photo/Evan Vucci), and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters early Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware (AP Photo/Paul Sancya).
Presidency hinges on tight races in battleground states

Trump claimed victory and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting.