Washington, D.C. –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will take several actions to assist farmers while the administration challenges unfair foreign trade practices. USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.

“This short-term relief program to boost our farmers and ranchers allows the Trump administration time to negotiate long-term trade deals that will benefit Southern Illinois’ agricultural economy,” said Bost. “The United States has been taken to the woodshed for years by unfair and illegal trade practices by China and others, and the administration is right to try and level the playing field. Unfortunately, rather than pursue balanced trade deals, China has responded by punishing our agricultural producers through unjustified retaliatory tariffs. I will continue working with our farmers and ranchers to create new markets for the food, fuel, and fiber they produce.”