USDA is moving forward with a second batch of direct payments for farmers and ranchers burned by retaliatory tariffs. “We just have gotten authorization on the second tranche,” Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters last week. “We’ll be getting it ready hopefully at the end of this month or early December.”
It had been unclear if the department planned to offer another tranche of payments, with U.S. and Chinese officials working to finalize a partial trade agreement. USDA has already paid farmers $6.7 billion for their 2019 production, on top of $8.6 million that was provided for 2018.
Perdue said further aid might not be needed in 2020 if the limited U.S.-China agreement is signed.