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Politics & Government

USDA Sec. Perdue talks about trade mitigation payments in Delaware

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First State farmers can start signing up for trade mitigation payments this week.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue discussed trade tensions with China when he was in Delaware recently for the State Fair.

The Trump administration will distribute $16 billion dollars to farmers to counter losses caused by its tariffs on China and retaliatory tariffs. The first payment is set for next month.

The Trump administration will distribute $14.5 billion dollars to farmers, with the first payments set for next month. It will also spend more than $1 billion buying commodities to give to food banks and on trade promotion.

Perdue calls China an unfair trading partner who is not currently negotiating in good faith.

“So for farmers, they’re not going to deal with people locally who cheat them and they don’t expect President Trump to deal with people internationally who cheat us,” he said.

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

Perdue said this year’s program is based on feedback from last year.

“It covers a lot of things," he said." It tries to smooth out things. We got minimum payments, we got maximum payments. And we cover a lot of commodities we were not able to cover last year.”

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

Payments are based on a farm’s total eligible crops multiplied by a county-specific rate. New Castle County’s rate is $61. Kent County is $54 and Sussex is $46.

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