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Trump fast tracks aid to farmers hit by coronavirus fallout

10 April 2020

On 9 April, President Trump directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to expedite help to both small- and large-scale farmers hurt by the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19.

On Twitter, Trump also said he expects Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue "to use all of the funds and authorities at his disposal to make sure that our food supply is stable, strong, and safe."

Trump did not specify what he expected Perdue to do, but farmers are waiting for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to announce how it will disburse $9.5 billion Congress set aside for the industry in the coronavirus relief bill signed by Trump last month.

According to Reuters, farmers are a critical component of President Trump’s political base as he seeks re-election in November.

Also on Twitter, Perdue said the USDA "is using all financial resources we have been given to develop a program that will include direct payments to farmers & ranchers hurt by COVID-19 & other procurement methods to help solidify the supply chain from producers to consumers."

The American Farm Bureau Federation said last week that farmers need immediate help and it urged the USDA to make special direct payments to dairy and cotton producers, livestock farmers and cattle ranchers, among others.

Read more about this story here.


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