The farm aid package announced by the White House this week will be what keeps some Texas farms operating in the face of an escalating trade war, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"This is temporary relief, but we know it buys time. Time to renegotiate trade deals that are on the table now. Perhaps secure some new markets for Texas farmers going forward," Gary Joiner, Director of Communications for Texas Farm Bureau, says.
The $12 billion in aid to farmers, announced by the United States Department of Agriculture, will come through a direct assistance program.
"The actions today are a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on a conference call.
A number of trading partners, including China, Mexico and Canada, have imposed retaliatory tariffs on American agriculture after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. The ongoing trade war has affected prices of items like pork and soybeans, hurting many Texas farmers. The president insists his tariffs will work out for America in the long run.
Earlier this week, he unveiled new campaign-style hats that say, “Make Our Farmers Great Again.”
"Make our farmers great again. That’s what’s happening," Trump said, as he showed off one of the green and yellow hats.
During a Kansas City speech the President said his tariffs are bringing trade partners to the bargaining table. He urged farmers to "just be a little patient."
But Joiner says, in Texas, that patience is running out. He says, while the president still enjoys popularity in the agriculture sector, farm incomes are already down, and without trading partners, farmers would dump products on the open market, causing a glut that would make profits worse.
"Twenty-five percent of agriculture’s income in our country is generated by export opportunities, so it cannot be overstated how important trade is to Texas farmers."