Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday the Trump administration’s plan to provide $12 billion in aid to American farmers who have been hurt by tariffs proved “we’re not going to back down” against retaliation by China.
“The Chinese are convinced that they can cause enough pain to the American farmer that the Trump administration will blink,” Gingrich, the former Georgia Republican congressman who was speaker from 1995 to 1999, told Neil Cavuto on Fox News.
“Frankly, if you look at the total behavior of the Chinese since 1991, it is an absurdity to allow it to continue — but when you start to change it, they’re going to fight.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday the agency’s plan focuses on Midwest soybean producers and others industries affected by retaliatory measures.
China, for instance, has slapped duties on a range of U.S. products, from soybeans to pork to wine to certain fruits and nuts — and the White House has vowed to place tariffs on more Chinese goods in the coming months.
The Agriculture Department said the proposal would include direct assistance for farmers, purchases of excess crops and trade promotion activities aimed at building new export markets.
Officials said the plan would not require congressional approval and would come through the Commodity Credit Corp., a wing of the agency that addresses agricultural prices.
Gingrich told Cavuto that Beijing has “had a great deal” over the years.
“They’ve ripped us off every year, stolen our intellectual properties, rigged the game,” he said. “Of course, they don’t want it to change.
“President Trump is right — and we better figure out how to engage in this fight and win it.”