The USDA has announced the Trump Administration plans to write checks to farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs.
Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says $12 billion really won’t offset the losses farmers have suffered.
“And with the U.S. budget deficit now up about 20% from this time last year, there’s really very little room for the federal government to offer assistance to agriculture,” Goss tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Goss says farmers don’t need a handout.
“What agriculture really needs is freer and fairer trade and hopefully this will result in it, but thus far it has penalized the Nebraska farmer and the U.S. farmer,” according to Goss.
Goss says tariffs thrown up by other countries in retaliation to U.S. tariffs have had a significant impact on farm income and on the rural community.
“And if these tariffs and trade restrictions expand even more that’s going to create a real divide between the rural areas and the urban areas in Nebraska and the mid-American economy,” Goss says.
In a news release issued by the USDA, the Agriculture Department said it will take several actions “to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation.”
The USDA reports President Donald Trump has directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on short-term relief as the administration works on trade policy with other countries.
Most of the retaliation against increased tariffs and trade restrictions imposed by the United States against other countries have targeted American agricultural goods, such as soybeans, livestock, and even specialty crops.
The USDA outlined programs it will use to assist farmers:
- The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs
- Additionally, USDA will use 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.
- Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.