Trump administration to disburse first $6 billion in farm bailout

Trump administration to disburse first $6 billion in farm bailout

The Trump administration said Monday that it will dole out around $6 billion in aid to farmers, as part of up to $12 billion in funds planned for those in the agricultural sector suffering from global tariffs.

Last month, the Trump administration had promised up to $12 billion in emergency aid to the agriculture industry to calm rising concerns about a trade war sparked by the government's global tariffs.

The US Department of Agriculture said Monday that it would dole out around $6 billion, including about $4.7 billion to producers of corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat.

The Department will also purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities targeted by global tariffs, and distribute the produce via the Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs.

The remaining $200 million will go towards helping U.S. farmers identify and access foreign markets through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program.

"Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue in a statement.

“It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow, if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior,” Perdue said. “But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the President to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”

The US slapped more tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods last Thursday, following seemingly unproductive trade talks between the two countries Wednesday.

The U.S. tariffs have been contentious around the world, with governments elsewhere criticizing the Trump administration for sparking global trade wars.