Ag News: USDA Trade Assistance
**President Trump says the U.S. will boost its purchase of domestic farm products for humanitarian aid in an effort to offset lost demand from China as trade tensions flare.
Trump Tweeted we will use tariff money to buy American ag products “in larger amounts than China ever did” and send it to “poor & starving countries.”
According to agweb.com, the President says “In the meantime we’ll continue to negotiate with China and hope they don’t try again to redo the deal!”
**It’s an all-out sprint for the USDA to put together another emergency trade assistance package for farmers and ranchers hit by stalled talks with China.
USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney says it will be only a matter of days before a package worth about $15 billion is ready.
Agrimarketing.com reports, the package, much like the $12 billion Market Facilitation Program unveiled last year, will contain both short-term benefits to farmers, as well as long-term help.
**The trade war with China has pushed the USMCA into the shadows on Capitol Hill.
Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley tells agriculture.com that a vote on the free trade agreement could be delayed for a year or more by presidential politicking unless Congress starts work soon.
Grassley believes “If we don’t get it done this year, it won’t get done until after the next presidential election.”
The White House has yet to send the USMCA to Congress for consideration.