The Trump Administration will likely begin its second multibillion-dollar round of payments to farmers through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) by December, according to media reports.
The $12 billion U.S. Department of Agriculture aid package known as MFP was created this summer in efforts to alleviate the effects that some ag producers are feeling from ongoing trade tensions. China has in place tariffs on commodities such as soybeans in response to tariffs set by the U.S.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue earlier this week confirmed that the second round of payments will be coming, and that as of now there will be no changes to the amount they plan to dish out to farmers, Successful Farming reports.
“I can confirm there will be a second tranche,” Perdue told reporters after a swearing-in ceremony for the new director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “Again, we are continuing to look at market conditions. We are discussing this really as we speak. Quite frankly, right now, we see no change in the amount that would change our minds about a different amount.”
Farmers and equipment manufacturers have gotten good news on the trade front in recent weeks. Other than the planned tariff-relief payments from the USDA, the U.S. also reached a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA. However, trade talks have been slow with China. The U.S.-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs, which farm equipment manufacturers say have made it more expensive to make their products, also remain in place with Canada and Mexico.