Senate GOP leader says Trump’s tariffs have been ‘very tough’ on American farmers | Markets Insider

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  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that a trade dispute between the Trump administration and China has hurt US farmers.
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  • “It’s been very tough on American agriculture,” the Kentucky Republican told CNBC in an interview.
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  • China has placed steep retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products over the past year and a half, sending prices and exports of commodities sharply lower.
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  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that a trade dispute between the Trump administration and China has hurt US farmers, adding that he hoped the two sides could defuse tensions.

“I’d sure like for it to reach some resolution soon,” the Kentucky Republican told CNBC in an interview. “It’s been very tough on American agriculture … I hope we can get a conclusion to this sometime soon because rural America really needs it.”

China has placed steep retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products over the past year and a half, sending prices and exports sharply lower.

Still, McConnell said he “admired” President Donald Trump for his efforts to address Chinese trade practices said to put the US at a disadvantage.

In another attempt to placate constituencies across the farm belt ahead of the 2020 elections, the Trump administration rolled out a $16 billion bailout program for farmers this year. The new package mirrored a $12 billion aid package announced last year, which provided direct and indirect payments to farmers.

Recent polls suggest an increasing number of Americans are worried about tariffs. But Trump has highlighted slower growth in China and dismissed recession concerns at home.

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