The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to deploy $16 billion in government funds to aid farmers hurt by the trade battle with China and wet weather that kept many from planting a crop this spring.
China’s tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports, implemented in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, have bruised a U.S. farm economy already struggling after years of low crop prices. Slackened demand from China—one of the top buyers of U.S. agricultural exports—has cut into farmers’ take-home pay and disrupted business for top agricultural exporters like Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. The Trump administration said it would extend this next batch of aid to farmers after U.S.-China trade talks collapsed in early May.
“Farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday in a statement.