President Donald Trump tweeted a boast about an upcoming round of payments to farmers, who have been hurt by his trade war with China.
“Our great Farmers will recieve (sic) another major round of ‘cash,’ compliments of China Tariffs, prior to Thanksgiving,” the President wrote on Sunday.
Facts first: It’s true that the Trump administration will start distributing another round of aid to farmers hurt by the trade war before the end of November – but the payments are part of an aid package already announced in May.
Farmers have already received $6.8 billion this year from the trade mitigation package, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The first round of payments was made over the summer, and was meant to cover 50% of what farmers are due this year.
The second phase of payments is set to begin before Thanksgiving and will cover 25% of the calculated payment. If the trade war goes on, a third round is due to be distributed in January.
Those payments are in addition to the $8.6 billion farmers received under the 2018 aid package.
Farmers were hit hard by the trade war when Beijing imposed tariffs on a variety of US agricultural products, including soybeans, corn and pork. In some cases, the Chinese market evaporated for American exporters, resulting in tumbling commodity prices, and big losses for US farmers.
To make up for some of those losses, the Trump administration has been making payments to eligible farmers. It has also allocated funds to organizations that help promote foreign agricultural trade, and has purchased surplus commodities affected by the tariffs, distributing the food to food banks and schools. In total, $28 billion has been promised.