Report: Trump Admin. To Begin Third Round Of Bailouts For American Farmers

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and President Donald Trump.U.S. Department of Agriculture/Public Domain

JakeThomas

The Agriculture Department's Market Facilitation Program is benefiting large farms over smaller, struggling farmers.

The Trump administration is preparing to dole out its third round of taxpayer-funded relief for American farmers harmed by President Donald Trump’s trade war, the administration said last week.

According to Politico, the administration’s farmer bailouts so far have included “at least $6.7 billion for their 2019 production, on top of $8.6 billion provided for last year’s production and additional trade relief efforts like commodity purchases and marketing assistance.” Another round could also come in January if necessary, administration officials have said.

The total farmer bailout over the past two years is $28 billion, HuffPost noted — and most of that money has gone to “farmers in Trump-supporting Southern states, and being paid to the largest, wealthiest farms and foreign corporations.”

Trump tweeted about the next round of assistance on Sunday, claiming that small farms and farmers would be “big beneficiaries” of the federal funds:

However, a recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EGW) shows that it is America’s larger farms that are receiving the most assistance from the Market Facilitation Program.

“Figures show that 95% of top payment rates are going to farmers in the South, even though they have been less affected by the trade war with China, and that significant payments have been made to wealthy farmers and foreign corporations,” the report shows, according to HuffPost.

The five states receiving the most money from the program include Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas — all of which voted for Trump in 2016.

Rather than help struggling small and medium farms, the report noted, the Agriculture Department has doubled payment limits, “directing even more money to large, wealthy farming partnerships.”

In the meantime, farm bankruptcies are up 24 percent overall, according to a Farm Bureau report last month — and more are expected.

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