Rep. Claudia Tenney: Impact of Trump tariffs is a ‘mixed bag’

Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney said Wednesday that President Trump’s new trade tariffs have both helped and hurt local producers in her central New York district.

“It’s a mixed bag…it has affected us in some ways more on the crop side in agriculture and in some ways it has helped,” Tenney told Hill.TV co-host Krystal Ball in response to a question over Trump’s more hardline approach on trade.

Tenney represents the New York’s 22nd District, which voted in favor for President Trump in 2016 by a margin of more than 15 points despite Hillary Clinton winning the state by double digits.

Top U.S. trading partners have been targeting American farmers in response to Trump’s escalating trade war with global trade partners. 

Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum. Canada, Mexico and the European Union immediately announced retaliatory tariffs of their own on an array of U.S. products.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to offer up to $12 billion in aid to farmers and ranchers following calls for relief. The aid will come from a mix of programs, including direct payments to some producers hit particularly hard by Trump’s tariffs like soybean farmers.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the emergency aid is “a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy.”

But a number of Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have criticized the plan, saying it doesn’t fix the underlying problem – the administration’s own trade policies.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Bloomberg that farmers “want trade, not aid – it’s really that simple.”

— Tess Bonn

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