Report: Trump Is Overpaying The Nation’s Farmers With Taxpayer Money
President Donald Trump’s $28 billion farm bailout is paying growers more than the trade war with China has cost them, according to Yahoo News.
Six academic studies have found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture overshot the impact of the trade conflict on American soybean prices, which has caused distortions and inequalities in the farm economy.
“It’s clear that the payment rates overstated the damage suffered by soybean grower,” Joseph Glauber, the USDA’s former chief economist, said. “Based on what the studies show, the damages were about half that.”
The research focused on soybeans because it has been the most visible target of Chinese retaliations against Trump’s tariffs and because the sector received the most trade aid.
“You’re ruining a huge export market,” said Yuqing Zheng, an agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky. “Longer term, we don’t know for sure what the impact will be. Even if there is no future tariff, China might import less from the United States.”
A team led by Zheng found that the U.S.-China trade war decreased U.S. soybean prices by 36 cents per bushel in its first year, a period when the bailout program paid soybean growers more than four times that: $1.65 per bushel.
Senate Democrats released a report in November arguing that the aid program favors large producers over smaller ones, while the Environmental Working Group found that big farms were the main beneficiaries of the aid payments.