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Secretary Perdue confirms new trade aid details aren’t ready

Ag Secretary Perdue says the follow-up to the Market Facilitation Program is still in development, and he doesn’t know yet what farmers will get, or which commodities will see payments. 

Perdue says they are operating conceptually now with the President’s direction to create a program, but details are not ready. “We’re trying to listen to all of the stakeholder comments from last year (on) the implementation of the program, what went well, what we’d like to improve and we’re working those programs to present to the President.”

And, Perdue confirms direct payments are likely. “We are assuming it will contain direct payments for commodities. Certainly, the President’s concept of buying commodities for humanitarian purposes may also be part of that.”

Perdue says the funding would be handled through the Commodity Credit Corporation.  He also told reporters whatever package is created would have to be defensible within World Trade Organization guidelines. 

The Secretary spoke from Seoul, South Korea after meeting with G-20 Ag ministers.

President Trump announced Monday he wants 15-billion from tariff revenue channeled towards America’s farmers.  The proposal has been criticized by ag groups, who want trade deals instead of aid.

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