Jul 23, 2019

USDA to pay farmers impacted by trade war $15 per acre minimum

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday the U.S. government would pay a minimum of $15 per acre in aid to farmers impacted by President Trump’s trade war with China, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The trade war has been crippling for U.S. farmers. Illinois Soybean Association CEO Craig Ratajczyk told Reuters the $15-per-acre minimum would make agricultural lenders more comfortable and "help provide some type of stability for that type of lending institution."

Details: The Market Facilitation Program payments would make up the bulk of a $16 billion trade aid package that the Trump administration announced in the spring to compensate farmers hurting from the trade war with China, according to AgriPulse. Perdue told reporters he'd release more information later this week, per AgriPulse.

"We are anticipating right now 3 tranches obviously, with about probably 50% or a minimum of $15 an acre initially. The other 2 tranches would be anticipating any market changes or looking at any market changes going forward."
— Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

The big picture: Trade tensions with China appeared to ease during the G20 summit last month, where Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to restart stalled talks. Trump said he wouldn't put new tariffs on China for the "time being." He said this month China was not fulfilling promises to buy U.S. farm goods, Reuters notes.

Go deeper: U.S. farmers fight to save Chinese soybean relationships

Go deeper

Where China is getting its goods while U.S. farmers languish

Data: The Observatory of Economic Complexity; Graphic: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday the U.S. government would pay a minimum of $15 per acre in aid to farmers impacted by President Trump’s trade war with China.

Why it matters: The trade war has been crippling for U.S. farmers, as China has looked elsewhere for key crops — particularly soybeans.

Keep ReadingArrowJul 27, 2019

More than half of Trump's trade relief allocated to biggest, richest farms

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

More than 50% of federal aid meant to help American farmers cope with the negative impacts of the U.S.-China trade war went to the largest and wealthiest farms, according to a new study of Department of Agriculture data.

Why it matters: The Trump administration prioritized aid to farms that produced high volumes of specific crops, leaving smaller farms behind, per the study. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says the findings illustrate a need for "payment caps" on the aid, reports Bloomberg.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Local leaders look to forge ties with China amid trade war

Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Photo: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

Feeling the effects of the Trump administration's trade war with China, some states and cities are stepping in to build their own relationships.

Why it matters: Mayors and governors are hearing directly from farmers and business owners concerned that the trade war will permanently cut off access to the Chinese market.

  • "People are scared about their livelihoods and job opportunities going somewhere else," said Bob Holden, CEO of the U.S. Heartland China Association and former governor of Missouri. "I see now a paranoia in our culture that we've lost control."
Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019