News

Secretary Perdue Says Farmer Aid Could Be Less than First Estimated


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $12 billion package to offset farmers losses from the imposition of tariffs American exports could end up shrinking after an agreement to update NAFTA was struck, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday.

“We will be recalculating along as we go,” Perdue said in a phone interview with Reuters, regarding the second tranche of the planned compensation, estimated at about $6 billion, which was first announced in July after U.S. and China imposed trade tariffs on each others imports.

China has traditionally been the biggest buyer of U.S. agriculture exports but it has been largely out of the market for several products, such as soybeans, since implementing levies on U.S. imports in retaliation for the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods.

The aid package includes cash payments for farmers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs. The USDA had already outlined the allocations for the first $6 billion at the end of August.

Perdue said the picture has changed after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was reached, a revamp of the NAFTA trade agreement between the three nations.

“If the tariffs do come off and the tariff impact lessens it will have some impact over the mitigation efforts because mitigation efforts were based on the fact that they would be tariff damage related,” he said.

American farmers have yet to see the full benefit of the new accord as an ongoing dispute over steel and aluminium tariffs mean they still face retaliatory measures when trading with Canada and Mexico. That agreement also does not address the harm as a result of the trade war with China.

Perdue said talks to remove the steel and aluminium tariffs were just beginning.

“The President feels tariffs have been very instrumental in getting Canada to the negotiation table. Now that we have an agreement, I believe their usefulness regarding those two countries have diminished and I think we should go back to our prior relationship of no tariffs on steel and aluminium,” he said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: Agriculture.com

ProAg Quick Links

Agent Toolbox Grower Toolbox Careers

ProAg News

Corn Prices Heating Up

Despite the USDA raising 2018-19 marketing year ending stocks for corn in last Thursday’s WASDE report, corn prices moved higher to end the week. December corn futures prices returned to the levels seen before the surprising June Acreage report....

More Resilient Flood Control

In the wake of flooding that has inundated the Midwest, people offer different perspectives calling for more investment in flood control infrastructure as recovery begins along the Missouri River and in much of the Mississippi River watershed....

Why MFP 2019 Will Be A Disappointment For Some

The flow of meaningful information from USDA leadership about MFP 2019 payments has remained painfully slow. While there is no way of knowing the exact county-level payment rates, this week's post considers the big-picture impacts of how a 2019 MFP program might roll-out....
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×