GOP pollster: Most farmers would prefer trade over subsidies

Republican pollster Brett Loyd said Thursday that most farmers prefer being able to have their products traded to receiving government aid. 

"Most of these farmers aren't looking for subsidies. They're not somebody who's out there saying, 'I want free money, please give it to me.' They want to be able to trade their product at market value, and so this isn't something that they necessarily like," Loyd told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

The Trump administration earlier this month announced it would offer $12 billion in aid to farmers affected by retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports from trade partners . 

The tariffs from trade partners came in response to Trump's tariffs on imported aluminum, steel and Chinese goods earlier this year.

Late last month, a soybean farmer who said he voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE — and who stands to benefit from the administration's aid — said he’d “rather not have” the assistance.

"I mean, I understand they're trying to help us. I get that. But it's not a long-term fix. It's a pacifier, so to speak," Illinois soybean farmer Dave Kestel said told CBS News. "I'd rather not have it."

A new American Barometer poll on Wednesday showed 60 percent of Americans surveyed said they supported the plan, while 40 percent said they did not support it. 

Sixty-nine percent of respondents from rural communities said they supported the administration's measure. 

"This program, from what I hear, isn't just going to farmers, it's also to open up new avenues and new trading partners with countries that we don't currently have trade with on our agricultural products," Loyd said.  

"This is a product of negotiations. This is President Trump taking care of the farmers while negotiations are happening," he added. 

— Julia Manchester