Trump Administration To Give $16 Billion in Farm Aid
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that the Trump administration plans to provide $16 billion in aid to farmers who have been negatively impacted by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.
In 2018, the Trump administration doled out $12 billion in aid to offset losses caused by tariffs imposed by several countries. And although the administration previously claimed that it would provide no aid to farmers this year, imposed tariffs from China have hit farmers hard, necessitating a new round of aid. Part of the aid plan includes selling American products in markets outside of China, according to NPR.
"If China's decided not to play, then we'll sell these great products elsewhere," Secretary Perdue said.
Agriculture has been hit particularly hard by the ongoing trade war, prompting fears of an economic slump in the agricultural economy, reported the news source. Bankruptcy filings have increased among farmers to offset their debt, which has been worsened by a series of natural disasters that have proved devastating to livestock and crops.
“Details on the new trade mitigation program will be forthcoming shortly, but we want to be clear that the program is being designed to avoid skewing planting decisions one way or another,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, reports Fox Business. “Farmers should continue to make their planting and production decisions with the current market signals in mind, rather than some expectation of what a trade mitigation program might or might not look like, based on a media story.”
The unyielding approach to trade with China has not been without its downsides, as, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the trade war has reduced U.S. income at a rate of approximately $1.4 billion each month. New tariffs will cost the average U.S. household $831 per year, according to an estimate by the New York Fed.
The latest round of farm aid is set to come from the Commodity Credit Corp., a program from the Great Depression that seeks to assist the farm sector during tumultuous times.
Will the latest round of farm aid be enough to stabilize farming operations and offset damage caused by tariffs?