The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to deploy $16 billion in government funds to aid farmers hurt by the trade battle with China and wet weather that kept many from planting a crop this spring, The Wall Street Journal reports.
China’s tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports, implemented in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, have bruised a U.S. farm economy already struggling after years of low crop prices. Slackened demand from China—one of the top buyers of U.S. agricultural exports—has cut into farmers’ take-home pay and disrupted business for top agricultural exporters like Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. The Trump administration said it would extend this next batch of aid to farmers after U.S.-China trade talks collapsed in early May.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement today that the USDA designed the program based on feedback following last year’s $12 billion trade aid program, rolled out after China, Mexico and Canada levied tariffs on U.S. exports.
The USDA will divide the $16 billion among soybean fields, hog barns, dairy farms, cranberry bogs and other agricultural operations. Payment rates will range between $15 and $150 an acre, the USDA said, based on a farm’s location and this year’s expected production. Read the full story.