Jul. 22, 2019
USDA awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, or ATP, in a second round of assistance granted to the groups to expand agriculture trade.
According to a USDA news release on last Friday, the 48 recipients are among the same organizations that applied for $200 million in ATP funds in 2018 that were awarded earlier this year.
"As part of a new round of support for farmers impacted by unjustified retaliation and trade disruption, those groups had the opportunity to be considered for additional support for their work to boost exports for U.S. agriculture, food, fish, and forestry products," USDA said.
Earlier this week the White House Office of Management and Budget completed its interagency review of the latest $16 billion market facilitation program payments proposal, according to a post on the OMB website on Monday, .
In May, President Donald Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion through programs to support farmers and ranchers. That amount, USDA said, was in line with the "estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions."
The ATP is one of three programs being used to assist farmers and ranchers while the trade dispute continues with China.
Since the $200 million in assistance was announced in January, U.S. exporters have had "significant" success, according to the USDA release.
The agency said those funds led to a trade mission to Pakistan that generated $10 million in projected 2019 sales of pulse crops; a new marketing program for Alaska seafood that led to more than $4 million in salmon sales to Vietnam and Thailand; and a marketing effort by the U.S. soybean industry to increase exposure in more than 50 international markets.
"These funds will continue to generate sales and business for U.S. producers and exporters many times over as promotional activity continues for the next couple of years," USDA said.
"China and other nations haven't played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices," U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a news release. "At USDA, we are always looking to expand existing markets or open new ones and this infusion of money will do just that. American farmers are so productive that we need to continue to expand our markets wherever we can to sell the bounty of the American harvest."
The Trump administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers on July 24, 2018.
With no breakthrough in trade talks with China apparent, Trump on May 10, 2019, raised a 10% tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods up to 25%. At the time the president said he was willing to support $15 billion in additional trade-aid payments to farmers. The president also launched action to place additional 25% tariffs on $300 billion more in Chinese goods.
The tariff battle during the past year has forced U.S. exporters to redirect their focus away from China, which had been the dominant growth market for agricultural exports for more than a decade. In 2017, China imported $23.8 billion in U.S. agricultural products. It was the No. 1 market for soybeans, feed, animal hides and alfalfa; No. 2 in hay; No. 3 in dairy, poultry and pork.
For 2018, agricultural sales to China fell to $9.3 billion, the lowest since 2007.