USDA Launches Second Round of Trade Mitigation Payments

The Department of Agriculture Monday announced the launch of round two of the trade mitigation payments to farmers. The payments are the second installment of trade aid through the Market Facilitation Program announced earlier this year as the U.S. and China were engaged in a trade war. The payments assist farmers “suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations,” according to USDA. The payments were expected in early December but were then held by the White House Office of Management and Budget as China recently agreed to and began purchases of U.S. ag products. The first Chinese soybean purchase from the U.S. in six months brought questions on whether there should be a second round of trade aid, which could amount to as much as $6 billion. Perdue met with Trump in the White House late last week, noting that the payments were “a commitment that the president made.”