For the second time in 14 months, President Trump announced a multibillion-dollar government intervention to prop up the farm sector, a prominent casualty of the Sino-U.S. trade war. The first bailout, announced in April 2018, has sent around $8.3 billion in cash to growers so far; the new rescue will buy "agricultural products from our Great Farmers, in larger amounts than China ever did, and ship it to poor & starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance," the president said on social media.
On Thursday, hours before the second-largest U.S. farm group said producers “are in desperate need of a lifeboat to keep them afloat,” the House Agriculture chairman said that fiscal constraints would preclude Congress from a multibillion-dollar bailout for farmers.
Federal meat inspectors would report to work as usual and the SNAP and WIC programs would stay in operation if there is a partial government shutdown at the end of this week, according to a USDA plan developed for the brief shutdown early this year. Offices running the farm program would be closed, which probably would mean that Trump tariff payments would be delayed until the government opened again.
The USDA anticipates it will announce payment rates before the end of this year for the second round of Trump tariff payments, said an agency spokesperson on Wednesday. The news followed a published report that the White House was delaying the payments.
U.S. farm income will be slightly higher than expected this year due chiefly to $4.7 billion in Trump tariff payments that will buffer the impact of trade war on commodity prices, says the USDA. With the bailout, farmers are forecast to collect $13.6 billion in direct farm payments, the largest amount in 12 years.
More than 1,100 of the early recipients of Trump tariff payments intended to offset the impact of the trade war on U.S. agriculture actually live in America’s largest cities, said the Environmental Working Group on Monday. The bailout recipients are the latest “city slickers” identified by the EWG for collecting federal subsidies without living or working on a farm. (No paywall)
Producers of shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries are eligible for cash payments to offset the impact of trade war on U.S. agriculture, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The announcement on Friday was the first addition to the list of commodities earmarked for an estimated $4.7 …