Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the Agriculture Department was "trying to put a Band-aid on a self-inflicted wound".
The department "will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations", he said. Trump has expressed that he is willing to tax all Chinese imports, $500 billion worth, if China doesn't reduce the trade deficit with the United States. "Just be a little patient".
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Trump is giving farmers "golden crutches", while Sen.
"We are here to explain ourselves and explore ways to avoid a trade war", he said, stressing that the European Union is "not in the dock - we don't need to defend ourselves". Some of Trump's fellow Republicans are also already balking at the idea of government-funded bailout for a trade war they oppose.
"We need to get trade agreements in place".
The biggest exporter of US -made cars is a German company - BMW, through its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Trump, however, appears unfazed, . tweeting that "tariffs are the greatest" and "either a country which has treated the United State unfairly on trade negotiates a fair deal or it gets hit with tariffs".
"We are just kind of being played", said Tom Giessel, who was cultivating his fields when he stopped his tractor to take a cell phone call from a reporter seeking his reaction to the plan.
The total bailout is reportedly about $12 billion, and the official announcement - which the network said would likely target dairy, pork and soy products - could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon, hours after the president's tweet. "America's farmers don't want to be paid to lose - they want to win by feeding the world". On Wednesday, before Juncker's meeting with the president, the European Union prepared a list of $20 billion in USA goods that would be subject to duties if Mr. Trump imposes the auto tariffs.
Liu said the subsidies were probably a preventive measure by Trump to ease the anxiety of his constituencies because he was anxious those voters might reconsider their support if the Chinese duties took hold.
The United States has never before offered aid of this scale for the impact of a trade dispute, said Scott Irwin, agricultural economist with the University of IL.
"This is psychological warfare and will have an effect on people's expectations", Wang said. "Scattershot actions which adversely affected our trade relations throughout the world".
Industry experts said the trade war could exacerbate a long-term trend of family farms succumbing to economic pressures and selling to larger multi-national conglomerates.
During a Monday event at the White House featuring American-made goods, Trump displayed a green hat that read, "Make Our Farmers Great Again".
"China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love and respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the US", Trump wrote on Twitter. (See Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sporting one here.) The message is a calculated one as the White House seeks to ease farmers' concerns that a U.S. trade war will hit them hard. "This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs", the group's Executive Director Brian Kuehl said in a statement.