The Trump administration this week signaled a willingness to provide more trade aid to farmers if needed. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the claims are untrue. While in Iowa, Perdue stated, “I’m afraid that’s not accurate,” adding it could be miscommunication, as reported by the Des Moines Register.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Monday that the Trump Administration has allocated $12 billion for farmers, and that they “stand ready to do more if necessary.” Perdue has repeatedly ruled out any new trade aid for 2019. The Department of Agriculture this week extended the deadline to certify acres under the Market Facilitation Program to May 17.
The program has already paid producers more than $8 billion for losses that occurred in 2018 as a result of retaliatory tariffs from China. Perdue says the President has not discussed any further trade aid for farmers with him. Talks with China could conclude within the next two weeks, and a possible agreement may be signed in June.