The second round of trade mitigation payments will be coming to aid farmers and ranchers affected by the trade retaliation from other countries. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the announcement today after being authorized by President Donald Trump. It will be the final round of trade mitigation payments that were originally announced back in July in response to damage caused to the agriculture industry from retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods.
“The President reaffirmed his support for American farmers and ranchers and made good on his promise, authorizing the second round of payments to be made in short order. While there have been positive movements on the trade front, American farmers are continuing to experience losses due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. This assistance will help with short-term cash flow issues as we move into the new year,” Secretary Perdue said in a press release.
Three programs were initiated in September to help address the negative impact associated with the trade disputes. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments will now be available to producers of certain commodities for the second half of their 2018 production. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has been administering the first round of MFP payments to producers for the first 50 percent of their 2018 production. Producers only need to apply once for the program with enrollment to remain open until January 15, 2019.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has been managing the food purchase and distribution program, purchasing up to $1.2 billion in various commodities. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is distributing these commodities through multiple nutrition assistance programs. A total of $200 million is being made available for the development of foreign markets for American ag products through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program. More than 70 organizations applied for the program and FAS will be announcing ATP funding awards at the start of the new year.