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Government & Politics

U.S. Sen. Portman Says Aid Might Help Struggling Farmers, But Trade Markets Are Better

a photo of Rob Portman
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says President Donald Trump's plan to provide subsidies to farmers might be a good short-term solution.

Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman would like to see an end to trade disputes with China, but the Republican senator said President Donald Trump’s decision to provide $12 billion in subsidies to American farmers might be a good short-term solution to trade shortfalls. 

The escalating trade war has hurt many Ohio farmers producing soybeans, pork, and corn, among other products.

Portman said he believes expanded markets are the better option but does not completely oppose the bailout.

“’Trade, not aid,’ as farmers told me this past weekend," he said. "But maybe in the short term this could help some farmers get through a difficult period. And one would hope that we can work something out with China during this interim period that would allow these markets to come back.” 

Portman said the president’s current trade policy is risky and is urging the re-establishment of trade markets with China. He said a better chance of short-term success is with our largest partner, Canada, along with Mexico through the NAFTA negotiations.