Will Trump Clear Up Trade Aid Confusion at Iowa Event?

June 11, 2019 11:48 AM
Will President Trump use an Iowa event to clear up questions about tariff aid?

President Donald Trump is headed to Iowa Tuesday afternoon to tout his administration’s fulfilled promise to remove barriers to year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol fuels. And while the news will be cheered by farmers in the audience, many will be hoping the Commander in Chief seizes the opportunity to provide more clarity on his second-year tariff aid plan.

The administration has announced up to $13 billion in tariff aid payments to farmers in 2019 under the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). But USDA is boxed in by regulations that require MFP payments go only to crops that were planted, locking out growers who have been rained out of their fields all planting season and opted to file prevented plant insurance claims.

USDA has been looking for a loophole to provide assistance to farmers forced to file prevented plant claims. A somewhat cryptic press release from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue late Monday provides clues that USDA may have found a sliver of an opening.

“USDA is not legally authorized to make Market Facilitation Program payments to producers for acreage that is not planted,” Perdue said in the release. “However, we are exploring legal flexibilities to provide a minimal per acre market facilitation payment to folks who filed prevent plant and chose to plant an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested and for subsequent use of those cover crops for forage.”

According to Perdue, details of the MFP payment program, including payment rates would be revealed in “coming weeks.”

President Trump will make public remarks at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs scheduled for 3:20 p.m. Central. You can watch a live stream of the event in the player below.


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Spell Check

Rural, WI
6/11/2019 04:54 PM

  Just another soundbite from the apprentice president for the benefit of his lemming followers. He will natter on about MFP but has no intention of actually pay out any money. Details in the “coming weeks” will continue but never materialize. Ya get what ya pay for, farmers got took. Time to acknowledge the facts and move on. How much ignorance do farmers want to continue display?

NoTown, KS
6/11/2019 04:28 PM

  Dump has NO idea what he is doing himself, so how can he 'clear up' any confusion? Even a psychiatrist could not help him. He is a LOST cause, causing problems for the rest of the world.

Sc, NE
6/11/2019 05:57 PM

  The payment is meant to make up for marketing losses and if you do not have a crop you will have no market loss. Payments should go to producers of crops that have had a loss due to tariffs