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Trump administration announces $16 billion more in tariff relief for farmers

Delaware Public Media

Delaware farmers will get another round of relief payments in part because of the United States’ escalating trade tensions with China.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $16 billion program Thursday.

“The package we’re announcing today ensures that farmers will not bear the brunt of those trade practices of China or any other nation,” he said.

This year the amount of money First State farmers get will depend more on the county they grow in rather than the type of crop they grow.

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bill Northey said farmers across the country will get $14.5 billion in three direct payments, with the first scheduled for July or August. Elgible products range from pork to soybeans to cranberries.

“We plan and hope to be able to have a trade agreement well before those second and third payments are made," Northey said. "We know we’ll make the first payment.”

President Donald Trump raised tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods this month after trade negotiations fell apart.

The Trump administration handed out $12 billion to offset trade losses last year.

Another $1.4 billion will go toward buying the products and donating them to help low-income people.

State Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse told Delaware Public Media earlier this week local farmers would rather see a deal than get a handout.

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