And Americans for Prosperity, a conservative pro-growth group affiliated with the Koch network, said farmers want good trade policy, not a bailout.
But they are made in eastern China and soon could be hit by punitive tariffs of Trump's own making as he ratchets up a rancorous trade dispute with Beijing. Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off?
Mark Martinson, who raises crops and cattle in north-central North Dakota and is president of the U.S. Durum Growers Association, said the $12 billion figure "sounds huge" but there are many farmers in need.
On Tuesday, Trump declared on Twitter that "tariffs are the greatest!"
"When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity". In another tweet, Trump claimed that "Negotiations are going really well, be cool".
"The end result will be worth it!" he added. China, a huge market for USA agricultural exports, has applied tariffs on $34 billion worth of US goods, including soybeans and pork.
The USDA also will buy the surplus of commodities that would otherwise have been exported and distribute them to food banks and other nutrition programs.
With congressional elections coming soon, the government action underscored administration concern about damage to USA farmers from Trump's trade policies and the potential for losing House and Senate seats in the Midwest and elsewhere in November.
Juncker, the president of the European Commission, and top EU trade official Cecilia Malmstrom agreed to work with the United States to lower industrial tariffs on both sides and increase USA exports of liquefied natural gas and soybeans to Europe, the official said, according to the report.
USDA announces 3-prong approach to aid farmers
In response, the president has threatened to place additional tariffs on up to $500 billion in products imported from China.
'Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers, ' Kentucky GOP Sen.
In interviews with the Herald in China last month, Chinese officials said they were undaunted by Trump's threats to levy increasingly harsh tariffs as high as $500 billion on Chinese goods. "We were being nice - until now!"
Those affected economies have in turn targeted USA agricultural products, including soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor. The Trump administration said Tuesday it would offer $12 billion in emergency funding for farmers hurt by the trade tiff - though even that plan drew scorn in local media. Last week, Mr. Trump threatened "tremendous retribution" if his meeting with the European Union officials doesn't lead to what he considers to be a fair auto-trade deal.
President Trump welcomed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to the White House on Wednesday for what are likely to be tense discussions over trade and tariffs, with Trump saying the U.S.is seeking a "level playing field" on trade with the European Union. I have an idea for them.
Speaking ahead of the White House talks, Juncker admitted he was "not very optimistic", while Trump kicked off the day with a combative series of tweets vowing "no weakness" in the multiple fights he has launched with America's trade partners.
"We hope that it doesn't come to that and that we can find a solution".
(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 USA trade war will hit them hard.
The agriculture sector was already suffering before the president's tariffs.