WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) will send final payments to ease the financial burden felt by U.S. farmers during the trade negotiations throughout 2019.
“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American agriculture with the signing of the historic phase one deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. “While these agreements are welcome news, we must not forget that 2019 was a tough year for farmers as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation. President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers and this third tranche of 2019 MFP payments is proof. President Trump is following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access just like he did with China.”
In May 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump asked Perdue to create an assistance package for U.S. farmers in response “to trade damages from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption.”
The support package includes:
- MFP for 2019, authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), providing approximately $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers.
- Additionally, CCC Charter Act authority is being used to implement a $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.
- Finally, the CCC has used its Charter Act authority for $100 million to be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to assist in developing new export markets on behalf of producers.
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) commended the payments and relief provided to farmers.
“NAWG welcomes today’s news from the administration fulfilling the support program farmers who have been impacted by the U.S.-China trade war,” said Chandler Goule, chief executive officer of NAWG. “The MFP payments will provide necessary assistance to growers impacted by low prices resulting in part from tariffs. NAWG understands that the full benefits from the phase one deal with China will take time to be fully felt in the market. In the meantime, assistance through MFP is critically important given economic conditions in farm country.”