Ag Secretary Expecting the Third Round of Trade Aid Payments

Even though the first trade deal with China has been signed, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says he still expects U.S. farmers to get a third-round of 2019 trade aid payments.

USDA hasn’t officially announced if and when the farmers would get those payments. Perdue tells Bloomberg that the move is still waiting for approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Perdue says the agreement won’t interfere with the final round of trade assistance payments made under the Market Facilitation Program.

“My expectation is the third round will be issued immediately,” Perdue says. “I’m counting on it, but we’ve got to get that allocated through OMB. But I see no reason why we can’t get that done.”

The U.S. government instituted the aid program as the trade war with China escalated and the Asian country implemented retaliatory tariffs on American farm goods. The first round of payments was issued last fall, with the second payments coming in the winter.

Perdue did say that farmers shouldn’t expect new assistance this year beyond the $28 billion that was previously approved. The administration wants to begin phase two trade talks with China as soon as possible, with President Trump willing to travel to China to help them get going.