Farmers were a significant voting bloc for President Donald Trump in his 2016 bid to become the chief executive. So when they got hit hard by his trade wars, he promised to provide help to them.
In 2018, it’s estimated that around $12 billion was doled out to farmers as part of a bailout package to those hit by the trade wars. But in 2019, as they continue on without an end in sight, the Trump administration has no immediate plan to help farmers any longer, according to reporting from Reuters.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday that the administration could reinstate the program in order to help farmers. It would keep them from having to face the difficulties of not being able to export their crops to nations as a result of Trump’s tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs imposed on the United States by other countries.
However, Secretary of Education Sonny Perdue has stated that such a plan, if it does exist, is news to him.
11.8 BILLION in lost income for American farmers. Trump’s trade wars are hurting American families.
Also: Trump’s tax cuts are hurting American families. Trump’s ACA sabotage is hurting American families. Trump’s presidency is hurting American families…https://t.co/gIinxwslx0
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@DemWrite) May 1, 2019
“As these trade negotiations go longer and prices remain low, we will look at that as we go forward. But we don’t want to raise expectations that anything’s under consideration at this point,” Perdue said on Tuesday.
Farmers shouldn’t expect a bailout to come, Perdue explained, a point he had made long before Kudlow’s remarks this week.
“We have been very clear to the agriculture community that we did not anticipate nor should they anticipate a 2019 Market Facilitation Program,” Perdue said.
U.S. farmers had been facing tough circumstances before the trade wars even began. Farm profits were nearly half of what they were in 2013, and the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants left many farmers shorthanded, reporting from Bloomberg noted earlier this month.
It has been difficult to zero-in on just how much the trade wars have hurt farmers, but many estimates put the number in the billions. One study in Iowa found that that state alone was hurt by as much as $2 billion.