Nov 8, 2019

U.S. to distribute $800 million in aid to southern farmers hit by 2018 hurricanes

Photo: Wan Zhen/VCG via Getty Images

The federal government will distribute $800 million in aid to farmers in Florida, Alabama and Georgia that were hit by hurricanes Michael and Florence last year, the Department of Agriculture announced on Friday.

The big picture: The department will distribute the money in grants as part of a $3 billion disaster aid package approved by Congress earlier this year to help communities recovering from a variety of natural disasters. The aid will help agricultural producers in southern states "get back on their feet and prepare for next year’s planting and harvest," per Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

By the numbers: Florida’s share of the funds is expected to exceed $380 million, while $347 million will go to Georgia, where the timber industry had notable losses.

  • Alabama is expected to receive $25 million.
  • North Carolina, also struck by Hurricane Florence, was not included in the list of beneficiaries on Friday, as the state's negotiations with federal officials persist.

Go deeper: U.S. farmers could really use some help

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Trump administration to offer additional relief to farmers amid trade war

Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Agriculture will distribute the second round of aid payments for 2019 aimed at buffering the impact of President Trump's trade war with China starting next week, according to a USDA statement.

The state of play: The administration already paid farmers $6.7 billion for production in this year and $8.6 billion last year, per Politico. The earlier payment in 2019 covered half of the farmers' eligible production, and the latest round will cover an additional quarter.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

John Deere expects U.S.-China trade war to hurt its bottom line in 2020

A John Deere cotton stripper. Photo: Ivan Gubsky/TASS via Getty Images

John Deere said in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday that it expects lower earnings in 2020 due to a decline in worldwide equipment sales, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The world's largest farm equipment manufacturer cited ongoing tensions from the U.S.-China trade war as well as harsh weather in the U.S. as factors that have led farmers and construction companies to decide against large new investments.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019

LA Times: $35 million in Pentagon aid remains unreleased to Ukraine

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

More than $35 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine has not been dispersed, according to a new report by the Los Angeles Times. The outstanding sum is part of the $400 million assistance package that President Trump delayed earlier this year, igniting the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Where it stands: Trump released part of the aid on Sept. 11 after a whistleblower report surfaced alleging a quid pro quo. Lawmakers granted the Pentagon a year-long extension to save $250 million worth of the aid before it expired at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019