USDA Announces Trade Disruption Relief for Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers negatively impacted by recent trade actions.

President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.

Secretary Perdue held a press conference with USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson to announce the aid.

USDA announces trade disruption relief for farmers

Agricultural group leaders are thankful for the aid but interested in a more long-term solution.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “This announcement is substantial, but we cannot overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets. Our emphasis continues to be on trade and restoring markets, and we will continue to push for a swift and sure end to the trade war and the tariffs impacting American agriculture.”

“NCGA appreciates the Administration’s recognition of the harm to producers caused by tariffs and trade uncertainty,” said National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Skunes. “The fine print will be important. We know the package won’t make farmers whole but look forward to working with USDA on the details and implementation of this plan.”

Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said they look forward to reviewing the details of the trade relief package. “Trade agreements and trade enforcement are the most effective long-term solutions to the challenges faced by U.S. beef producers. For many years, U.S. beef has been a target of high tariffs and restrictive trade policies from notorious actors like China and the European Union. We support a vigorous approach to tearing down trade barriers, including non-tariff barriers that are not based on science.”

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