Trump: U.S. may give farmers more aid until trade deals 'kick in'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 21, 2020 - Duration: 01:45s

Trump: U.S. may give farmers more aid until trade deals 'kick in'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday composed a tweet entirely in capital letters pledging to further help American farmers, even after his USDA secretary said the sector should not count on a bailout in 2020.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.


Trump: U.S. may give farmers more aid until trade deals 'kick in'

The United States could give American farmers yet another financial bailout to offset the pain of President Donald Trump's trade wars.

That's according to this ALL CAPS tweet from President Donald Trump on Friday, where he wrote, "If our formally targeted farmers need additional aid until such time as the trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada and others fully kick in, that aid will be provided by the federal government." He did not say how much money, or how long it would last.

The Department of Agriculture set aside $12 billion in 2018 and another $16 billion in 2019 to help farmers.

And Trump's pledge for further aid comes after Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited a Nebraska convention in December and said the sector shouldn't rely on further bailouts.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) USDA SECRETARY SONNY PERDUE, SAYING: "I certainly don't want our farming community to become expectant or feeling an entitlement to market facilitation programs on an annual basis." Last month he said he said there were no plans for a farm aid package in 2020.

But Trump is seeking re-election in November.

And farmers form a part of his electoral base.

They've been badly hit by low commodity prices and Trump's tit-for-tat tariff dispute with China.

The White House, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative's office all declined to comment on Friday's tweet.

Last month, Trump signed a trade deal with Canada and Mexico into law, along with a separate Phase 1 accord with China that went into effect in mid-February.

Canada has not yet ratified the deal and experts had been skeptical that China, which had pledged to increase its purchases of U.S. goods by $200 billion over two years, would be able to meet the goal even before a coronavirus outbreak hit the country's imports and exports.

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