U.S. farmers suffering from the trade war with China have received $4.07 billion of the latest round of government trade aid as of Monday, Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed in an email to Reuters.
USDA Communications Director Michawn Rich said the department has received more than 302,000 applications for the aid program since enrollment opened.
The latest disbursement came after President Donald Trump administration in July announced another $16 billion in aid for farmers who lost sales due to China’s tariffs on U.S. agricultural products.
Last year, the administration also pledged an aid package worth $12 billion to U.S. farmers.
In a White House event with farmers and ranchers in May 2019, President Trump said the United States has been taken advantage of for many years by many countries, but nobody has done it like China.
“To end these chronic trading abuses, my administration took necessary and very lawful action to protect America’s economy, security, and farms. We’re taking swift action to remedy all of the injustice that’s been done over the years,” he said.
The president added, “We will ensure that our farmers get the relief they need, and very, very quickly. It’s a good time to be a farmer. We’re going to make sure of that.”
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at that time said the aid payments would go to farmers producing roughly two dozen crops, including soybeans, corn, canola, peanuts, cotton, and wheat. Dairy and hog farmers are also eligible.