Trump Still in `Throes' of Working on Farm Aid Plan, Perdue Says

May 16, 2019 08:45 AM
 
The Trump administration is still in the “throes” of assembling the president’s promised $15 billion agriculture aid package for an industry hurt in the trade war with China.

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration is still in the “throes” of assembling the president’s promised $15 billion agriculture aid package for an industry hurt in the trade war with China, but it will probably include direct payments to farmers similar to those in last year’s trade assistance, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

Perdue said Wednesday his department is “expediting” preparation of the aid plan, which President Donald Trump announced Friday as he escalated the trade war by increasing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products and threatening additional tariffs.

Trump said at the time that the U.S. would bolster its purchases of domestic farm products for humanitarian aid in an effort to offset lost demand from China, though some farm groups and experts said that was unrealistic.

Rural Americans were among the most enthusiastic supporters of Trump in the 2016 election, but the worsening impact of the trade war on agricultural exports is sparking criticism from farm groups.

Perdue told reporters in a conference call that the aid package would probably include aid to farmers based on their crop production.

“We are assuming it will contain direct payments for commodities,” Perdue said. “We are in the throes of constructing it.”

The payment levels in last year’s aid package has sparked complaints from some producers that their crops were treated unfairly.

The National Corn Growers Association sent out a call to action earlier Wednesday urging farmers to tell Trump that the 1 cent-per-bushel payment that growers received under the previous market facilitation payments wasn’t enough. The campaign is being promoted with the hashtag #apennywontcutit.

Perdue said the administration is “trying to listen to all the stakeholder comments from last year” but “overall we were very, very pleased with how the program went.”

Perdue spoke from Seoul after completing trade talks with Japan and South Korea, which he called “productive.”

 

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Comments

 
Spell Check

Scott Harvey
MENLO PARK, CA
5/16/2019 09:17 AM
 

  Awesome! We borrow another $15 billion (now totaling $30 billion including last years payment) to provide welfare to farmers. Meanwhile, farm machinery manufactures raise the prices on their equipment to cover the increase in cost of raw materials due to the tariffs. Next we'll be handing them food stamps. Gotta love the domestic washing machine manufacturers. When tariffs went into effect on China made machines, US manufacturers just raised their prices as well. So who wins and who pays for tariffs? US manufacturers win and US consumer pays. Lovely!

 
 
RJohn
NE IL, IL
5/16/2019 01:01 PM
 

  So the tactical plan has already moved from buying grain and then donating it to 3rd World countries to "it will probably include direct payments to farmers similar to those in last year’s trade assistance." Wow, Trump is going to pay farmers to stuff more grain into already full bins due to his mis-guided and "trade wars are easy to win" strategy. This strategy may buy farmers some short term cash flow but keep prices depressed for years, due to higher and higher yearly carryouts. Yep, Trump stupidity strikes again.

 
 
Rick
Jonesboro, AR
5/16/2019 02:14 PM
 

  Hey Scott, how are the crops looking out in Menlo Park,Commiefornia?

 
 

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