Heading into the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump formed a 64-member Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee. On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group reported that 15 members of that committee have received a combined $2.2 million in Trump tariff payments.
The USDA has paid $2.46 billion to farmers and ranchers since disbursements began on Aug. 21 to mitigate the effects of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said the USDA on Wednesday.
Although most producers say Trump tariff payments will "completely or somewhat" relieve the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on their operations, farmer confidence is plummeting, according to a Purdue University poll released Tuesday. The Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the health of the agricultural economy, fell from a record high of 153 in July to the lowest reading — 124 — since May.(No paywall)
Farmers and ranchers will receive a projected $10.7 billion in Trump tariff payments this year, the major reason that direct federal payments will amount to 22 percent of net farm income, say USDA economists. The trade war payments would be twice as large as last year's $5.1 billion, when the administration created the stop-gap Market Facilitation Program to mitigate the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on the agricultural sector.
The Trump administration enabled multimillion-dollar payments to some large operators in this year’s round of trade war payments by obliterating the usual limits on farm subsidies, said the president of the National Farmers Union on Thursday.
The USDA began issuing payments to farmers and ranchers on Wednesday in this year’s first round of trade aid to offset the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said Richard Fordyce, head of the Farm Service Agency.
More than 9,000 people living in the largest U.S. cities received thousands of dollars in Trump tariff payments intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war on U.S. agriculture, said the Environmental Working Group on Thursday.
A day after President Trump scoffed at wheat exports to Japan — “They don’t even want our wheat,” he said — U.S. wheat growers called out the president for maligning an important trade relationship. It was one of the first times farmers have talked back to Trump since they helped elect him to office.
The Trump administration can pay billions of dollars in trade aid to farmers and ranchers this year, and in 2020, too, if it wishes, because Congress quietly and reliably replenishes funding for the Commodity Credit Corp., sometimes referred to as the “USDA’s bank.” (No paywall) (No paywall)