USDA To Assist Farmers Affected By Unjustified Retaliation
US secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced details of actions the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from “unjustified” retaliation by foreign nations. President Donald Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers.
The US administration is meanwhile working on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally, according to a USDA press release.
As announced last month, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers starting September 4, 2018. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and child nutrition programs.
Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for US agricultural products. The program will help US agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions