Fruit and vegetable farmers and their distributors are losing billions of dollars as restaurants and other buyers shut down and the government needs to step in, according to a new plea from the industry that traditionally shies away from government assistance.
A Trump administration plan to reduce the amount of fruit and some vegetables such as carrots that schools must serve to kids has alarmed nutrition advocates, many lawmakers and two former agriculture secretaries.
China’s Finance Ministry announced Thursday that on Feb. 14 it will cut tariff rates on $75 billion worth of U.S. products, including some ag commodities such as soybeans, chicken, pork, oranges and asparagus, but the impact is expected to be minimal.
The U.S.-China trade war escalated again for the second time Friday after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. would increase rates for existing tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods as well as boost tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports that haven’t yet been levied.
Officials estimate Hurricane Michael caused billions of dollars in damage to crops, livestock and aquaculture after slamming into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday with 155 mile-per-hour winds and then plowing a path of destruction through Alabama and Georgia.
Trump administration officials have been promising for months that Sonny Perdue’s Agriculture Department will protect farmers and ranchers from billions of dollars of tariffs from China, Mexico, Canada and the EU. But how much can USDA help?