$16 billion farm aid to help American farmers: U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue

The U.S. is making efforts to ease the pains of U.S. farmers, a key constituent who voted for Trump in 2016, including expanding export efforts to other markets other than China, including India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines among other countries.

In an interview to Fox Business Network, U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue stated, U.S. President Donald Trump’s $16 billion aid program will help American farmers affected by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war; this includes export efforts to sell their produce to countries outside China.

“Some of this $16 billion is going to be used for market access programs to go and build markets elsewhere,” said Perdue. “If China’s decided not to play, then we’ll sell these great products elsewhere.”

Although Perdue did not offer details, the USDA is scheduled to release more information on the aid package later. Part of the aid includes direct payments to U.S. farmers of $2 per bushel for soybeans, reported Bloomberg earlier this week.

The market expansion for U.S. agricultural products includes countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines among other countries, said Perdue.

While acknowledging that U.S. farmers, a key constituency that voted for Trump in 2016, have been hit hard by the trade war, Perdue accused China of targeting the president ahead of the 2020 election.

“Farmers have been hurt disproportionately and China knows. They’ve gone right at President Trump’s base politically that makes farmers feel pain, and he’s not letting them bear the brunt of that,” said Perdue.

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