The aid package announced to offset harm by the Trump administration’s trade policy for agriculture could be ready to go by October, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
While in Argentina as part of the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, Perdue told Reuters the aid package could have payments reaching farmers by late September. The plan would include between $7 billion and $8 billion in direct cash relief as the Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farmers to take an $11 billion hit due to retaliatory tariffs after Washington placed duties on Chinese goods.
However, Perdue cautioned: “Obviously this is not going to make farmers whole.” Checks will go out to farmers “as soon as they prove their yields,” according to Perdue, who says the yields will be based on actual production, not historical averages. The program is a response to trade tariffs implemented on U.S. agriculture goods for the 2018 crop year only, as Perdue says “we do not expect to do this over a period of time.”