President Trump will provide $16 billion in aid to help American farmers, battered by escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told FOX Business on Thursday.
“China’s going to pay for these, the $16 billion of tariffs coming in,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “It’s a transfer coming in, and we’re doing again through the CCC program which was authorized, as we used last year, but actually the tariff money that we were receiving, the revenue we were receiving is what the president has intended to fund the farmers who have been hurt by these retaliatory tariffs.”
Purdue’s remarks come ahead of the Trump’s planned meeting with farmers on Thursday to discuss a second aid package.
According to Purdue, part of the aid will be used for market access programs.
“Some of this $16 billion dollars is going to be used for market access programs to go and build markets elsewhere,” he said. “And if China decides not to play then we will sell these great products elsewhere.”
In a survey conducted by FOX Business with 687 farmers, nearly a third said they are starting “losing confidence” in the Trump’s ability to reach a deal with China.
Purdue also said he hopes China will come back to the negotiating table.
U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen by more than 80 percent in the past year after China imposed retaliatory tariffs and switched to buying soybeans from Brazil and Argentina.