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FFT: 10 QUESTIONS FROM FARMERS ON USDA'S TRADE AID PACKAGE
Source: Farmers for Free Trade news release

Angela Hofmann, Deputy Director of Farmers for Free Trade, the bipartisan campaign working to oppose tariffs that harm farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, today released the following statement ahead of the release of expected guidance on the Department of Agriculture's $12 billion aid package for a segment of farmers that have been impacted by tariffs.

"Since this package was announced last month we've traveled to rural communities across the country to hear directly from farmers. Their reaction to this package has almost uniformly been that they want contracts not compensation. The farmers shouldering the burden of this trade war also have significant questions about how the program would even work. Here are just some of the questions we have heard directly from farmers that we hope USDA will be able to answer when they announce details of the program.

1. How will individual losses due to tariffs be calculated?

2. Will some producers be compensated more than others?

3. Will this program address the full range of producers who are being harmed? What happens to produce, fruit, nut, specialty crop and other farmers who may not be included in the aid package?

4. How will these payments correct the underlying uncertainty in the market?

5. Will small and mid-sized farmers get a smaller piece of the pie based on a "per bushel" calculation?

6. Will farmers struggling with drought conditions get less or no relief because of reduced production?

7. How will farmers be compensated for long-term impacts? Will there be a second aid package that addresses the more damaging long-term loss of markets?

8. What, if any relief will be provided for rising input costs - including the rising cost of items like tractors, grain bins, and fencing?

9. Will there be any payment limits?

10. What will happen to product that is purchased as part of the direct purchasing programs? Will it be destroyed or go back on the market? How will this impact prices?

"The aid package USDA will announce is, at best, an inadequate short-term solution. We continue to believe that the best way to ease the pain farmers are shouldering would be to end the trade war. A one-time check won't replace the disappearance of long-term contracts and relationships."


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