Farmers are feeling the sting of President Trumps trade wars as they are being cut off from foreign markets, losing lucrative contracts, and are being hit with retaliatory tariffs. The $12 billion bailout which was to make up the difference of losses incurred by farmers has done little to help them. Typical Washington bureaucracy and longer than expected waiting periods have resulted in few payouts.
In September, $6 billion of the bailout money was made available with only $838 million paid out to the farmers being affected. The remaining $6 billion is slated to be released in December. If what the agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, remains true, there will be no more bailout money for farmers beyond the $12 billion already approved.
Farmers are beginning to run low on patience while the trade war with China is deepening. Consequently, farmers have less access to the soybean market and farm equipment. American made peanut butter and orange juice are retaliatory targets for Europe. Pork and cheese have had taxes levied on them by Canada and Mexico.
Farmers earning less than $900,000 per year can receive money from the Depression-era fund so long as they produce a product that is hit with retaliatory taxes. Although there are no plans to make more funds available to farmers, the government has plans to purchase at least $1 million of apples, oranges, and pork. Purchased products are to be distributed through the nations nutrition assistance programs.
According to the National Milk Producers Federation, dairy farmers will lose $1.5 billion in the second-half of 2018 due to tariffs, and have only received $127 million in financial aid. Soybeans, wheat, corn, dairy, and pork are the products needing most of the support. Most of the support has gone to farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota.