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USDA announces details of assistance for farmers impacted by unjustified retaliation

Published on 27 August 2018

On Aug. 27, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of actions the USDA will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations.

President Donald J. Trump directed Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the administration works on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. As announced last month, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations.

“Early on, the president instructed me, as secretary of agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs. After careful analysis by our team at USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers. Our farmers work hard and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them,” said Perdue.

These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets:

  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers starting Sept. 4, 2018. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.

  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and child nutrition programs.

  • Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions.

“President Trump has been standing up to China and other nations, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include nontariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. In short, the president has taken action to benefit all sectors of the American economy – including agriculture – in the long run,” said Perdue. “It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior. But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the president to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”  end mark

From USDA news release

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