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USDA to release first $6B in tariffs aid to farmers

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President Donald Trump holds a hat reading , "Make Our Farmers Great Again," as he speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 23. On Monday, the USDA announced a $6 billion aid package to help farmers impacted by tariffs. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Ray Downs, UPI

The Trump administration on Monday will release more than $6 billion of the $12 billion in aid it promised to farmers impacted by tariffs, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Monday.

The soybean industry, which has been hit hard by tariffs, will get the bulk of the initial relief package, totaling $3.6 billion in aid. The pork industry will receive $290 million, followed by cotton, with $276 million. The wheat, sorghum and dairy industries are slated to receive more than $100 million each.

Another $1.2 billion will be used to purchase commodities, such as apples, pork, dairy and a variety of other food products.

"Early on, the president instructed me, as secretary of agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs," Perdue said in a statement. "After careful analysis by our team at [the U.S. Department of Agriculture], we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers. Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them."

Not all industries were satisfied with the amount of relief. Approximately $96 million has been set aside for the corn industry, which the National Corn Growers Association said wasn't enough to offset the impact of tariffs.

"This plan provides virtually no relief to corn farmers," said Kevin Skunes, the association's president and a North Dakota farmer said in a statement.

But with farmers' income down nearly 7 percent this year and at their lowest point since 2006, the aid announcement was welcomed by other farming lobbyist groups.

"The additional burden of tariffs on the goods we sell to China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union has been more than many farmers can bear," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. "Today's aid announcement gives us some breathing room, but it will keep many of us going only a few months more. The real solution to this trade war is to take a tough stance at the negotiating table and quickly find a resolution with our trading partners."

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: USDA to release first $6B in tariffs aid to farmers
USDA to release first $6B in tariffs aid to farmers
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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