MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump announced a $12- billion bailout Tuesday for farmers who are hurting from his escalating trade war over tariffs.

This is a sign the trade war is hurting Midwest farmers, including tens of millions of dollars of damage in Minnesota — especially to soybean farmers.

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Trading partners like China, Canada and the European Union are imposing stiff tariffs on Midwest farm products to retaliate for Trump tariffs on their countries.

President Trump announces farm bailouts (credit: CBS)

The president is activating a seldom-used Department of Agriculture emergency program to buy excess crops and commodities.

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At a speech Tuesday, he asked farmers to not believe reports that a trade war is a bad thing.

“Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Trump said. “It’s all working out, and just remember what you’re seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”

The president’s bailout program drew widespread criticism from farm state lawmakers of both parties, including Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson who said farmers “want trade, not aid.”

“Instead of throwing money at a problem we’ve helped create, the better option is … to make it easier for our farmers to sell their goods at fair prices,” Johnson said.

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