USDA Commits $12 Billion In Farm Aid Over ‘Unjustified Retaliation’ To Trump Tariffs

on June 13, 2018 in Dwight, Illinois.
<> on June 13, 2018 in Dwight, Illinois.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday pledged up to $12 billion in farm aide, in a “one-time” action, for farmers affected by President Donald Trump’s trade war.

“This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. An accompanying press release said the USDA would take “several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation.” (Read the full release here.) The Washington Post first reported the $12 billion plan Tuesday. 

Perdue added: “Unfortunately, America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes illegal retaliatory tariffs. USDA will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations.”

Except it was the trade war Trump — not other world leaders — started that led to the retaliatory tariffs.

“Tariffs are the greatest!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

“We’re opening up markets. You watch what’s going to happen. Just be a little patient,” he said at a rally Tuesday around the time news of the USDA package broke.

On a conference call with reporters earlier Tuesday, Trump administration officials said the $12 billion was “one time” action.

As Jonathan Allen noted in an NBC News analysis, “Read another way, that means $12 billion for farmers in an election year — and nothing once they’ve voted.”

Agricultural industry publication IEG Policy noted Tuesday that “Officials on the call with reporters were not asked if the push to get the plan out now would make sure that benefits under the effort would start going out to farmers and ranchers ahead of the November elections, but this certainly looks like that was the effort.”

The USDA is utilizing the Commodity Credit Corporation, created in 1933, to do three things: Make direct payments to “producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs”; “purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs”; and “assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.” 

But farm state politicians stress the money is little more than a Band-Aid and that, once overseas markets for American good are lost to producers in other countries, some may be lost for good.

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Notable Replies

  1. Now God help you, farmers, when the justified retaliation starts because then it’s see ya wouldn’t want to be ya! Seriously don’t worry. Uncle Donald will take good care of you until he decides he’s bored with that. Then it’s see ya wouldn’t want to be ya! Nobody knew macroeconomics was so complicated!

  2. This may be the worst possible scenario for the red ag states. They get a little bit of temporary help that won’t do anything in the long term. They lose out on international markets and the non-ag states start wondering why they should help prop up the red states. If the repugs lose control of the House, the ag states better not hold their breath waiting for additional economic assistance to make up for lost foreign markets.

  3. This is akin to his “look what I’m going to blow up…what’ll you give me to not blow it up?” negotiating tactic. Sort of the other side of the coin: “I blew all your shit up, but I gave you some stuff to make it better, so you should thank and worship me for it.” In psych terms, it’s the “love-bombing” part of the narcissistic abuse cycle, which is what follows a round of abuse in order to rope the abused person back in.

    They’ll fall for it. Guaranteed. And he’s using it for the mid-terms, because (a) these fucking idiots will indeed be thankful that Magnanimous Trump came to their rescue and (b) Trump is doing what they wanted and they see this all as part of their own sacrificial contribution to telling the world to fuck off like they’ve always wanted as part of their couldn’t-possibly-fail fantasy plan of creating a white Christian homeland that rules the planet.

  4. When Ron Johnson and I are on the same page we’ve all officially arrived at our new home: cray-town.

  5. Avatar for econ econ says:

    I’m doubly pissed.

    The fact that Tax dollars are being wasted because the Dotard can get away with his Small Hands narcissism, but equally, how the hell can he unilaterally expend that kind of our money?

    I’m sure our perfidious Congress will be passing legislation to prevent this expenditure.

    And I’m sure as well, the Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps, salt of the earth types, would never countenance such Government welfare.

    Yes I know, who am I kidding.

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