Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky slammed President Donald Trump after the White House announced financial assistance to farmers to offset the distress caused by the escalating trade war.
“Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers,” Paul tweeted. “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers — the answer is remove the tariffs.”
Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers. If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers — the answer is remove the tariffs.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 24, 2018
The Trump administration extended $12 billion in emergency relief to farmers on Tuesday, triggering Paul’s response. The U.S. agricultural industry, particularly pork and soybean producers, have taken a big blow by China’s retaliatory trade penalties after Trump’s initial tariff implementation. (RELATED: Rand Paul Defends Trump’s Meeting With Putin)
China’s tariffs hit Trump especially hard considering agriculture producers are a notable constituency for the president. With billions of dollars of tariffs on exports already implemented and the possibility for billions more, the trade dispute has already began to undermine the midwestern agriculture industries.
Paul has been consistently against tariffs.
“Tariffs are simply a tax on the American tax payer and so I’m really not for raising taxes. I think raising taxes hurts the economy,” Paul explained to the Bowling Green Daily News in early July. “My advice to the president is that we should try to sign deals that are advantageous to the U.S., but I think going right into a tariff war is going to be a problem for us.” (RELATED: Pence Heads To The Midwest For Tariff Damage Control)
The Kentucky senator also criticized Trump’s tariff war when the European Union imposed a 25 percent duty tax on whiskey products, telling The Hill the retaliation is “a major blow to Kentucky’s economy and our country’s recent economic gains.”
“While I agree we must take a tough stand against countries that are cheating, I do not believe the solution is to impose taxes on consumers and our most important trading partners,” Paul said to The Hill.
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