Reducing the Trade War Pain

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson September 21, 2018 08:35 Updated

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On September 4th, the USDA began executing plans regarding the Agriculture Trade Retaliation Mitigation Package to help farmers who are suffering losses due to international tariffs.  The following USDA departments will assist in this implementation:

  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA):  will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers.
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): will administer a Food Purchase and distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation.  The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through programs such as TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) and child nutrition programs.
  • The Foreign Agricultural Services’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will be using $200 million to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products.  Details regarding ATP and how to apply and submit proposals are available at www.fas.usda.gov/programs/agricultural-trade-promotion-program.

It was the Market Facilitation Program piece of the retaliation mitigation package that began accepting applications on September 4th, and this signup will continue until January 15th, 2019.  Farmers can visit their local county FSA offices, apply by mail, submit their applications via fax/scan/email, or go online (http://www.farmers.gov/MFP)  and fill out the CCC-910 application.  Approximately $5 billion in payments will be provided to eligible producers (of soy, sorghum, wheat, cotton, corn, hogs, and milk) and payment caps are $125,000 with eligibility restricted to producers with an Adjusted Gross Income of under $900,000.  The USDA estimates that a second calculation will be conducted in December to determine if additional payments will be provided.

 

Will this be enough?  Recently, 350 Farmers Union Members traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for a stronger farm and food policy, telling USDA officials how they felt about the trade war, the farm bill, and other issues that will have huge impacts on their farms and communities.  Sending clear and strong messages to our government officials through phone calls, letters and voting are our most effective tools.

 

Use them.

 

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

References:

NFU E-News, Issue 387 – September 19, 2018

https://www.mnsca.org/news-events/news/details/9617/usda-agriculture-trade-retaliation-mitigation-package

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/09/04/usda-launches-trade-mitigation-programs

 

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson September 21, 2018 08:35 Updated
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