May 15, 2019

Trump administration has paid farmers $8.52 billion in aid to offset trade war

Cotton farm in California. Photo: Citizens of the Planet/Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

As of Monday, the Trump administration has made $8.52 billion in direct payments to farmers through a 2018 aid program designed to counter losses stemming from the trade war with China, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson said.

Why it matters: President Trump promised aid of up t0 $12 billion, but the program stalled during the month-long government shutdown and major flooding in the Midwest has caused farmers additional pain. A prolonged trade war, which seems to be where the U.S. and China are headed, could force the Trump administration to renew the program.

Details: When this portion of the trade mitigation program was created in September last year, farmers were supposed to receive a payment at 50% of the producer’s total production, capped at $12 billion. This also includes support of up to $1.2 billion through commodity purchases and $200 million allocated to developing foreign markets.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) called on the Agriculture Department to count those acres affected by floods as part of the reimbursement program.

  • "We think thats got to be changed and that would go a long ways in terms of helping our producers," he said at an Axios event.

Top commodities that received aid:

  • Soybeans
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Cotton
  • Sorghum

Top states that received payments:

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Indiana

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.