The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to farmers hit hardest by the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday.
Perdue told Fox Business News that the plan includes trying to sell American products in more markets outside of China.
“If China’s decided not to play, then we’ll sell these great products elsewhere,” Perdue said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to announce additional details on farmer assistance on Thursday, and President Trump is expected address the nation’s farmers Thursday afternoon from the White House.
Agriculture has been among sectors hit hardest by the U.S. trade conflict with China. The announcement of new relief to farmers comes as fears are ratcheting up over an economic slump in the agricultural economy.
Trump’s hard-line moves on trade with China have reduced U.S. income at a rate of around $1.4 billion a month, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Analysis by the New York Fed estimates the new tariffs will cost the average U.S. household $831 annually.
Last year, the Trump administration provided $12 billion in aid to farmers to try to offset their losses from the trade war.
The economic troubles have had multiplier effects in recent months. Some farmers across the Midwest are struggling with debt, prompting bankruptcy filings among farmers to rise sharply. A further blow for the country’s agricultural sector has come in the form of natural disasters. Floods have killed livestock and drowned hundreds of millions of dollars in crops.
Perdue and other Trump administration officials are hoping the latest infusion of farm assistance will help stabilize farm losses. The soon-to-be-announced aid to farmers will come from the Commodity Credit Corp., a Depression-era program intended to assist the farm sector during hard times. [Copyright 2019 NPR]
Picture: credit AP
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will lay out the details of an aid program to help farmers hurt by the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute on Thursday. Here, Perdue walks past the West Wing of the White House.