Economy

Farm Bailouts Under Trump Now Total Nearly $50 Billion

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Trump White House recently announced the third bailout for the American agricultural industry in the past year and now we know how big it's going to be.

The third bailout will total $19 billion according to the Department of Agriculture including $16 billion direct cash payments and $3 billion in federal purchases of commodities.

The $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers will include $9.6 billion for the livestock industry - with $5.1 billion for cattle, $2.9 billion for dairy and $1.6 billion for hogs, according to a statement released late Friday by U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.

In addition, $3.9 billion will be paid to row crop producers, $2.1 billion for specialty crop farmers and $500 million for other crops, according to the statement. The payments are capped at $250,000 per individual farmer or entity.

At a size of $19 billion, this is Trump's largest farm bailout to date. It's significantly larger than Trump's first bailout of $12 billion and larger than his second bailout of $16 billion.

Altogether, the Department of Agriculture under Trump has funneled nearly $50 billion in cash subsidies to American farmers who've been harmed by both Trump's global trade war and his bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump's trade war is still ongoing. It hasn't stopped for the pandemic.

China's purchases of American agriculture under "phase one" of Trump's "biggest and greatest deal ever" totaled $5 billion in the first quarter of the year. Repeating that through four quarters would result in about $20 billion in purchases or about the same amount they imported before the trade war began. And you might say that represents success, but China was suppose to import over $34 billion this year as part of Trump's deal. It remains to seen if that will happen, but it seems unlikely as consumer demand isn't returning to or exceeding normal levels anytime soon.

Failed, incompetent leadership is extremely expensive; far more expensive than the cost of common sense regulations and environmental standards.