Farmers for Free Trade issues questions about trade aid package
As the Trump administration was preparing to announce a $12 billion package of aid to farmers hurt by tariffs, Farmers for Free Trade, a group promotes free trade in agricultural products, issued a list of 10 questions that it says farmers are asking about the trade aid.
“The aid package USDA will announce is, at best, an inadequate short-term solution,” Angela Hoffman, deputy director of Farmers for Free Trade said in a news release. “We continue to believe that the best way to ease the pain farmers are shouldering would be to end the trade war. A one-time check won’t replace the disappearance of long-term contracts and relationships.”
1. How will individual losses due to tariffs be calculated?
2. Will some producers be compensated more than others?
3. Will this program address the full range of producers who are being harmed? What happens to produce, fruit, nut, specialty crop and other farmers who may not be included in the aid package?
4. How will these payments correct the underlying uncertainty in the market?
5. Will small and mid-sized farmers get a smaller piece of the pie based on a “per bushel” calculation?
6. Will farmers struggling with drought conditions get less or no relief because of reduced production?
7. How will farmers be compensated for long-term impacts? Will there be a second aid package that addresses the more damaging long-term loss of markets?
8. What, if any relief will be provided for rising input costs – including the rising cost of items like tractors, grain bins, and fencing?
9. Will there be any payment limits?
10. What will happen to product that is purchased as part of the direct purchasing programs? Will it be destroyed or go back on the market? How will this impact prices?
The details of the $12 billion package of aid are likely to be released Monday, rather than on Friday, as originally scheduled, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday, Reuters reported.
Perdue made the statement during a trip to Cortland, N.Y., to visit dairy farms.
A USDA spokesman confirmed Perdue’s statement that the announcement will be Monday.
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