United States corn growers are pressing President
Donald Trump for better treatment in his $15bn China trade aid plan, arguing they were short changed in the administration’s $12bn assistance package last year.
The National Corn Growers Association sent out a call to action urging farmers to tell Trump that the 1 cent-per-bushel payment that growers received under the prior market facilitation payments wasn’t enough. The campaign is being promoted with the hashtag #apennywontcutit.
“A penny didn’t cut it then and won’t cut it now,” the trade group said in a notice to members posted on its website.
The trade war, bad weather and waivers the administration is issuing oil refiners on ethanol standards “have all created a perfect storm for agriculture”.
American farmers are struggling to keep afloat as the tariff spat that started a year ago curbed soybean exports to top buyer China, sending prices tumbling and hurting grower incomes.
As of Monday, the federal government had made $8.52bn in market facilitation payments to farmers under the prior trade assistance program.
On Friday, Trump announced in tandem with new tariffs on China an ill-defined plan to boost purchases of domestic farm products for humanitarian aid in an effort to offset lost demand from the Asian nation.
Sonny Perdue said he is working on a plan and will submit it to the president within “a few days to a couple of weeks”.