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.
Lawmakers are complaining about "all this welfare going to farmers" during the trade war and they might balk at providing more aid if there is a farm crisis, said House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson in a broadcast interview. "It undermines us," said Peterson. "If we need to do something, it is going to make it very much more difficult to get political support to respond."
Farmers are sitting on their checkbooks instead of buying new equipment because of the Sino-U.S. trade war and planting delays in the United States, said the chief executive of Deere and Co., the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer. Deere, which also makes construction and logging equipment, said overall sales fell 3 percent during May, June and July, led by a 6- percent drop in agriculture and turf, its largest division.
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.
China intends “to buy a lot of farm product,” said President Trump on Tuesday, describing “a very, very productive call” between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators. At the same time, the White House announced it would delay 10 percent tariffs on electronics such as cell …
U.S. farmers will harvest their smallest corn and soybean crops since 2013, but the trade war will constrain exports of America’s two major crops for the second year in a row, forecast the USDA on Monday. Soybeans would sell at the lowest average price at the farm gate in 13 years.
The United States might cancel trade talks with China scheduled for early September, said President Trump as he left Washington for the weekend. "We're not ready to make a deal, but we'll see what happens," said the president. "We’ll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that’s fine. If we don’t, that’s fine."
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)
In a steady escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Chinese companies halted purchases of U.S. farm exports on Monday. The largest US farm group said China's actions were "a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are struggling to get by."