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USDA Announces Programs to Assist Farmers, Agricultural Producers Impacted by Trade Retaliation

Monday, July 30, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week announced USDA will provide short-term relief to assist U.S. farmers and agricultural producers affected by retaliatory trade actions resulting from U.S. tariffs on foreign imports. Specifically, USDA will authorize approximately $12 billion in programs to compensate for the estimated $11 billion impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.

The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency, will provide payments incrementally to producers of hogs, soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton and dairy. Additionally, USDA will use the CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as beef, pork, fruits, nuts, rice, legumes and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs. Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority to establish a Trade Promotion Program, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service in collaboration with the private sector, to identify and secure new export markets for U.S. agricultural products.

According to USDA, these three programs are intended to provide short-term relief while the Administration works to negotiate free, reciprocal trade deals that benefit U.S. agriculture.

“We appreciate the Administration’s announcement today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide short-term relief to hog and cattle producers who are facing significant economic losses resulting from tariffs imposed by some trading partners,” Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter said in a statement . “It is critical that our government engage in dialogues with our trading partners that can rebuild relationships and restore markets before more permanent damage is done to our vibrant agricultural economy and the people who drive it.”

Additional information about the three programs will become available in the next few months.

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