Agriculture chief says there is no plan to extend aid offsetting tariffs for farmers

Agriculture chief says there is no plan to extend aid offsetting tariffs for farmers
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Secretary of Agriculture Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog | Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service | Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service Justice Department investigating meat price increases: report MORE on Monday said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is not planning to extend the up to $12 billion aid package for farmers into 2019.

"Farmers are very resilient and adept in making their planning and marketing decisions based on the current market,” Perdue told reporters, according to Reuters.

“These facts are known now ... So farmers, even under financial duress, will make their best business decision for 2019 without the expectation of a marker facilitation program,” Perdue said.

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The secretary left the door open to future spending but said all signs indicated it was not necessary. 

“We are continuing to looking at market conditions," Perdue said according to Reuters. "We are discussing this really as we speak. Frankly, right now, we see no change in the amount."

The Trump administration authorized the up to $12 billion aid package in July to protect farmers from losses caused by tariffs incurred in the midst of several trade disputes between the U.S. and other countries.

Some of the trade friction was resolved when the U.S. signed a trade deal with Canada and Mexico earlier this year, but the U.S. is still embroiled in conflicts over trade with European nations and China.

The U.S. has hit $250 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing has retaliated with tariffs on $110 worth of U.S. exports, hitting American soybean, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and pork producers.

This has led to China, the world's second-largest economy, largely pulling out of the market for U.S. agriculture goods. China had traditionally been the largest purchaser of these goods prior to the tariffs, according to Reuters.