The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a report this week on the implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program in 2018 and 2019. The report shows that payments by USDA significantly overestimated the actual trade damages suffered by producers of eligible commodities. The report also found the calculation method USDA used in 2019 for payments to non-specialty crop producers resulted in higher payments for Southern farmers than producers of the same crop in other parts of the country. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, A Michigan Democrat and Chair of the Senate Ag Committee, responds, “This report confirms that the Trump USDA picked winners and losers in their trade aid programs and left everyone else behind.” Stabenow added that making larger payments to farmers in the South than farmers in the Midwest or elsewhere, regardless of whether those farmers actually experienced a larger loss, undermines the future ability to support farmers when real disasters occur.
Stabenow: Trump USDA Picked Winners, Losers in Trade Damage Payments