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WASHINGTON D.C. - The trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to trade retaliation by foreign nations was launched on Sept. 4, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The package allows producers of certain commodities to sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), while the USDA begins to purchase identified commodities under a food purchase and distribution program. 

Proposal are also being accepted for the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), which will help American farmers find and access new markets for their products, the news release stated. 

In total, up to $12 billion will be authorized through the programs. 

These programs will act as a short-term relief strategy to assist agricultural producers in meeting some of the costs of disrupted markets while the Trump administration continues to work on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals. 

Related: U.S.Department of Agriculture aid package not enough for battered farmers

“These programs will allow President Trump time to strike long-term trade deals to benefit our entire economy, including the agricultural sector, in the long run,” Perdue said in the release.  “Farmers will tell you that they would always prefer to sell a good crop at a fair price, rather than receive government aid, and that’s what long-term trade deals will accomplish.  But in the meantime, President Trump has promised that he will not allow American agriculture to bear the brunt of the unjustified retaliation from foreign nations.  Today we are putting the President’s promise into action.”

According to the USDA release, details of the programs that were released in August include:

  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.  
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a food purchase and distribution program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs, such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs. 
  • Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions.

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