Sen. John Thune: Farm tariff relief plan ‘merely a Band-Aid’

July 24, 2018 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota says the government’s plan to help U.S. farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs is “merely a Band-Aid.”

Thune said Tuesday that he appreciates the intent of President Donald Trump’s push to ensure agricultural producers get as much help as possible, but says the plan provides a “false and short-term” sense of security.

The $12 billion plan is meant to assist farmers hurt by Trump’s trade disputes with China and other trading partners.

Thune says free and fair trade is crucial for the state’s farmers. Republican Sen. Mike Rounds called the plan a “partial fix,” but praised the administration’s recognition of the harm market instability is causing farmers.

A spokeswoman for GOP Rep. Kristi Noem says she’s reviewing the plan.