(Washington, D.C., September 4, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today launched the trade mitigation package aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities can now sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), while USDA will also begin to purchase identified commodities under a food purchase and distribution program. Additionally, USDA has begun accepting proposals for the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), which will help American farmers find and access new markets for their products. In total, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with World Trade Organization obligations.
Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet some of the costs of disrupted markets.
“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. “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.”