Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue met with President Donald Trump to talk about a second round of trade-aid payments to farmers.
Perdue had said an announcement was coming out on December third but that’s come and gone. It was first delayed as Washington honored the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. Now, the delay boils down to a Chinese soybean purchase and Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney.
Politico says the OMB Director is a longtime critic of farm policy. He’s pushing back against the idea of a second round of trade assistance for farmers and ranchers. “OMB and Director Mulvaney, as always, are looking to hold on to money,” Perdue says. “I understand that. I think this is a commitment that the president made and we hope to have it resolved soon.”
The first Chinese soybean purchase from the U.S. in six months has brought about questions on whether there should even be a second round trade aid, which could amount to as much as $6 billion. While the soybean purchase is encouraging, agriculture is still being hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, and Mexico.