The White House will be doling out $12 billion to farmers and ranchers as a short term fix to the recent retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. and to give President Trump time to work out trade deals.
“This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” said U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong. Unfortunately, America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes illegal retaliatory tariffs. USDA will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations. The programs we are announcing today help ensure our nation’s agriculture continues to feed the world and innovate to meet the demand.”
Perdue said the $12 billion plan should offset the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and will help producers meet the cost of these disrupted markets. The funding will divided among three programs:
- The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. This support will help farmers manage disrupted markets, deal with surplus commodities, and expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.
- Additionally, USDA will use CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork, and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs.
- Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.
The administration is still working out specific details as to how the funding will be distributed and when farmers and ranchers can expect to see the money.
Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said he expects the rest of the ag supply chain to see an indirect ripple from the investment.
Ibach said the benefits of this program will flow back not only into the farm suppliers, but forward to those companies that distribute the goods that farmers and ranchers produce.