Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueSonny PerdueThe hero of Jan. 6 whose name must not be spoken With soaring demand for meat, it's time to fund animal-free protein research Perdue on possible run for Georgia governor: 'I'm concerned about the state of our state' MORE said in a new interview that farmers were a casualty of President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE's escalating trade dispute China.
"[American farmers] are one of the casualties here with trade disruption," Perdue told CNN. "We knew going in that when you flew the penalty flag on China, the retaliation, if it came, would be against the farmer."
The comments from Perdue come amid a months-long dispute between the U.S. and China that has led to retaliatory tariffs from both nations.
China's government in 2018 imposed duties on US soybean, corn, and wheat after Trump enforced tariffs on Chinese products.
The imposition of those tariffs caused American agricultural products to be more expensive for Chinese importers, which lead to many private buyers to stop purchasing American soybeans and wheat altogether, CNN reported.
The news network added that many farmers threw their support behind Trump's goal to acquire a better trade deal with China. But that support has appeared to wane as tensions continue to persist.
The president has moved to offer aid to farmers impacted by the trade war. The administration in late May announced a new $16 billion aid package for farmers that would provide direct payments to help them make up for losses resulting from retaliatory tariffs Beijing imposed on major U.S. crop.