Perdue says farmer aid package still a work in progress
|Toronto Star 15 May 2019 at 17:49|
WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday that his agency is still “in the throes of constructing” an aid package for farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs, but he did not say when it will be ready.
Perdue, speaking to reporters from South Korea, said the Agriculture Department is reviewing feedback from producers about the strengths and weaknesses of last year’s relief package, valued at nearly $12 billion.
Perdue said he believes this year’s assistance will be enough to offset losses caused by the tariffs. He also predicted the current trade battles with China will not cause long-term harm to U.S. farmers.
Perdue has been tasked by President Donald Trump to assist farmers who have seen prices for their products fall because of tariffs imposed by China in response to tariffs that Trump initiated.
The tariffs could leave U.S. growers with commodities they cannot sell to the Chinese markets. Senators representing soybean and hog farmers say they are already struggling under Trump’s trade policies.