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Trump trade war, tariffs: USDA pays $4.7 billion to US farmers, soybeans



soybean farmer
John Duffy and Roger Murphy load soybeans from a grain bin onto a

Scott Olson/Getty

  • The US Department of Agriculture announced the first
    set of aid to US farmers hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade
    war, totaling $4.7 billion.
  • $3.6 billion of the aid will go to soybean farmers who
    have been hit particularly hard due to China’s tariff on the
  • The aid is part of a promised $12 billion package to
    help offset the pain of the trade war.

The US Department of Agriculture on Monday announced the first
wave of financial assistance for US farmers hurt by President
Donald Trump’s trade war.

The initial investment of just under $4.7 billion will be
distributed to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum,
soybean, and wheat farmers, who have seen prices dive since
Trump kicked off the trade battles with China, Canada, the
European Union, Mexico, and more. The money is the first portion
of a planned $12 billion aid package.

Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of
Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of
unfair retaliatory tariffs,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
said in a statement
. “After careful analysis by our team at
USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade
damages sustained by our farmers.”

In addition to the direct monetary aid, the USDA will spend
$200 million to help American farmers develop overseas markets
for their goods.

The largest portion of the assistance, $3.6 billion worth,
will go towards
US soybean farmers
. Soybean
have nosedived since
China announced a tariff
on US-grown soybean
China imported
$14.2 billion worth of US soybeans
in 2016, which accounted
for nearly 11% of the total value of US agricultural exports that

Prices of US agricultural goods have plummeted since the
announcement of tariffs on American crops. Since it is harder for
US farmers to sell their goods, supply gluts have become worse,
driving down prices. This has hurt US farmers even if their goods
are not sold directly to the countries with tariffs.

Many countries have targeted US crops with their tariffs to exert
not just economic, but also political, pressure on the US, since
many farmers are in GOP-held areas won by Trump. For instance,

eight of the top 10 soybean-producing states
were won by
Trump in 2016.

Here’s a breakdown of how much each type of producer will get,
per the USDA:

  • Cotton: $276,900,000
  • Corn: $96,000,000
  • Diary (milk): $127,400,000
  • Pork: $290,300,000
  • Soybeans: $3,629,700,000
  • Sorghum: $156,800,000
  • Wheat: $119,200,000

According to the release, the funds will become available
on September 4.

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