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

Cotton farm
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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