Friday news from the USDA

Friday news from the USDANews flash: it’s not pretty

Agriculture, Budget & Tax,  | Quick Take
Jul 19, 2019  | 2 min read | Print Article

Hear ye, hear ye. At the USDA, taxpayer dollars are given to trade associations via the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program to help exporters develop new markets. Even though exporters were doing quite fine before the Trump Administration started this folly of a trade war.

As part of the administration’s efforts to stem the economic bleeding from the trade war, in January the USDA announced $200 million in awards to 57 organizations, including the Brewers Association, Inc., the Pet Food Institute, the Raisin Administrative Committee, and the Wine Institute.

This time around, they will allocated $100 million to 48 organizations. Organizations that will not receive money this time around include the U.S. Pecan Growers Council, Pet Food Institute, and the Florida Department of Citrus.

The two new organizations receiving funding this time are the American Sheep Industry Association ($1,500,000) and the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. ($700,000).

Overall, the American Soybean Association has received the most taxpayer dollars through the program ($34,632,165) and likely so. Their market in China was obliterated. In 2017, the U.S. exported $12.2 billion (1.2 billion bushels) worth of soybeans to China, by far the largest importer of U.S. soybeans. After China’s retaliatory tariffs in 2018, soybean exports dropped 75 percent to $3.1 billion (302 million bushels). 2019 is looking worse – $1.8 billion of soybeans sold in the first four months compared to $2.6 billion in the same period last year.

The 2nd highest recipient is the U.S. Meat Export Federation ($27,556,680). Meat exports also took a hit when China, the EU, Canada, and Mexico imposed retaliatory tariffs on imported meat from the U.S.

It’s time taxpayers demand the trade war to end before even more hard-earned taxpayer dollars are used to lighten the effects of the Trump Administration’s trade war.