Another ‘Bale Out’: Trump To Pay ‘Patriot Farmers’ Hurting From His Trade War

on July 25, 2018 in Elma, Iowa.
OSAGE, IA - JULY 25: Hogs are raised on the farm of Ted Fox on July 25, 2018 near Osage, Iowa. According to the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top st... OSAGE, IA - JULY 25: Hogs are raised on the farm of Ted Fox on July 25, 2018 near Osage, Iowa. According to the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports. The state sends about 50 million hogs to market each year and its pork exports totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2017. Pork producers in Iowa are bracing for the impact a trade war with China and Mexico may have on their bottom line going forward. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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When the Trump administration announced last year that it was giving farmers hurt by the President’s multi-front trade war a $12 billion “bale out,” the government insisted it would be a one-time event.

But now, as retaliatory tariffs in response to President Trump’s trade war — which he previously insisted was “good, and easy to win” — drag on, the administration is preparing another payment program. The move appears aimed at Trump’s political base, as he tweeted earlier this month about “our great Patriot Farmers” eventually benefitting from his trade policies.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the news in an interview Thursday morning with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

“We’re having another market facilitation program in 2019, once these [trade] talks [with China] broke down,” he said.

“China’s going to pay for this $16 billion through tariffs coming in,” Perdue asserted, before confirming that the money would really be coming from his department’s Commodity Credit Corporation program.

As CNN noted, studies have shown that Perdue’s claim about tariffs on China paying for the program is not true. Last year, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) called the program “an additional payment that’s going to be made by the taxpayers.”

In 2018, Perdue called the $12 billion 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.” Others in the administration called it a “one-time” response to what the USDA called “unjustified retaliation.”

Not all of the money will go to farmers. Some will be used to market U.S. goods abroad.

“Some of this $16 billion is going to be used for market access programs, to go and build markets elsewhere,” Perdue said Thursday. “And if China decides not to play, then we’ll sell these great products elsewhere.”

According to a Congressional Research Service report, around $200 million of the $12 billion authorized in 2018 was used to promote U.S. goods overseas, nearly doubling the existing budget for trade promotion programs. The USDA has not yet released details on this year’s payment program, and did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

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Notable Replies

  1. How many bootstraps can you buy for sixteen billion dollars?

    I love the Party of Fiscal Responsibility.

  2. “The Farmers have been “forgotten” for many years. Their time is now!”

    1. my laundry is “calling” me.

    2. it’s nice to know that my taxes are going to be spent on a bunch of wannabe John Cenas.

  3. It’s always heartening to know that a stable genius — Did you know he graduated at the top of his class from Wharton?* — is ever ready to borrow billions from China to protect our patriotic pig farmers from the adverse economic effects of his impulsive, ill-conceived trade war with China.

    *Actually, he graduated from UPenn and he only took a couple of classes at Wharton. He also never once made the Dean’s List. But the true story doesn’t sound nearly as impressive, to say the least.

  4. Avatar for tena tena says:

    This makes me mad.

    You’re taking our tax money to plug it into the hole you tore in the economy. Fuck you!

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