May 23, 2019

Trump administration to give $16 billion in aid to farmers

A farmer in Scribner, Neb., on May 5. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a $16 billion aid package for U.S. farmers on Thursday in an attempt to offset retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

Details: The USDA said on Thursday the $16 billion package will come in three separate installments. The first payment is scheduled to come out in July or August, and the second payment will be made in late fall. A third payment will be made in early 2020.

  • "We hope to have a trade agreement before the second and third payments are made... that will depend on whether there is still damage to our producers," a USDA spokesperson said on Thursday.

Context: The administration has already made $8.52 billion in direct payments to farmers to offset effects of the U.S.-China trade war. The planned amount of aid has been criticized by some farm-state politicians, like Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), as too low for their current economic stress as a result of the trade conflict.

Go deeper: For Trump, a China trade war election

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.