farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory
tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s
trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make
it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow, with red tape and
long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.
According to the Department of Agriculture, just $838 million has been
paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made
available in September. Another pool of up to $6 billion is expected to
become available next month. The government is unlikely to offer
additional money beyond the $12 billion, according to Sonny Perdue, the
The program’s limitations are beginning to test farmers’ patience. The
trade war shows no signs of easing, with China and the United States
locked in a stalemate that has reduced American farmers’ access to a
critical market for soybeans, farm equipment and other products. Europe
is planning more retaliatory tariffs on top of those already imposed on
American peanut butter and orange juice, and Canada and Mexico continue
to levy taxes on American goods, including on pork and cheese.
Mr. Trump, who has had broad support in many farm states, still insists
that his get-tough approach to trade will ultimately help American
farmers, a position Mr. Perdue reiterated last month when he said
farmers are “resilient” and can plan ahead for market conditions.