President Donald Trump announced Friday via Twitter that he is open to doling out billions of dollars in a third trade assistance package for farmers because of implementation delays in trade deals such as the "phase one" pact with China.
China will follow through with the billions of dollars in additional ag purchases that it promised to make as part of the “phase one” trade pact with the U.S., but the coronavirus outbreak may delay the sales, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters Thursday.
The Agriculture Department’s inspector general is undertaking an extended investigation of the administration’s trade assistance programs, starting with whether USDA had the proper legal authority to make direct payments to farmers.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is leaving a week of meetings in Europe with a sense of optimism about a potential trade deal with the bloc of countries there, but familiar issues will need to be addressed if there is to be an agreement.
China’s commitments to dramatically increase its purchases of U.S. commodities have raised new questions for farmers as they face decisions about which farm bill program to enroll in and pencil out their finances and risk management for the year.