President Trump announced Monday via Twitter that he was “making good,” on his “promise to defend our Farmers & Ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations,” that promise is a “2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments.”
Market Facilitation Payments:
According to the USDA Farmers.gov, the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is a program designed to help farmers and ranchers whose “whose commodities have been directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets. The MFP “will provide direct payments to eligible producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, hogs, shelled almonds, and fresh sweet cherries.”
According to the linked website, the MFP, is one of three programs available to aid farmers hurt by economic woes.
The USDA announced in a press release published Monday, that this would be the final round of, “of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.”
The first round was announced in July as the News Blender reported at the time, the plan was to “extend some $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers.”
In November the News Blender reported that soybean farmers have been hardest hit by the trade war between the U.S. and China, as they had planted their largest crop “to meet the rising demand from China,” in light of the trade war, some farmers made the decision “to plow under their fields of unharvested beans,” as selling to China was no longer feasible.
According to a Reuters report the aid program by mid-November had only paid out $873.8 million of the announced $12 billion in aid.
Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) responded to President Trump’s announcement via Twitter.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that the 2nd round would be $11 billion in “trade mitigation payments.”
Roger Johnson the President of the Washington-based National Farmers Union told the Wall Street Journal that while he “welcomed the payments,” he cautioned that farmers will contend for years from this years trade disputes, “we’re no longer a reliable trading partner. This is a long-term problem we’ve created.”
The article also notes that the USDA is “also spending $200 million to promote U.S. farm goods in other export markets, and is buying up to $1.2 billion worth of such commodities, which will be distributed to food-assistance programs.”
For What It’s Worth President Trump in March announced tariffs on Steel @ 25 percent and 10 percent on Aluminum for all nations. In September the Trump Administration announced a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese exports. Bloomberg has a timeline of the trade war between the U.S. and China.