USDA announces farmer assistance with trade, tariff impact

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue with Sen. Ron Johnson

The USDA says help is on the way for American farmers.  Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters Tuesday, “The Trump Administration will be taking several actions to assist farmers in response to the trade damage caused by the illegal, retaliatory tariffs that have been imposed on the United States in just recent months.”

Perdue announced a 12-billion-dollar three-pronged approach to counter an estimated 11-billion-dollars’ worth of damages farmers will suffer because of tariffs and lost markets.  He says there will be a Market Facilitation program for direct payments to producers, a Food Distribution program purchasing food for nutrition programs and food banks, and efforts to find new markets through a Trade Promotion program.

USDA Economist Rob Johannson says farmers will sign up for the Market Facilitation program.  “The program that’s going to be providing payments to producers is going to target farmers that grow soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairymen, as well as hog producers.”

The programs announced Tuesday are expected to be ready for implementation in September, and farmers will need this year’s harvest data when they visit local FSA offices.

Perdue says the programs are a short-term solution to give President Trump time to work on a long-term deal.

Listen to the USDA conference call with reporters announcing the farmer assistance programs here:


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