A $12-billion USDA aid package implemented by President Donald Trump is intended to help farmers deal with the fallout of an escalating trade war with foreign countries - in particular, China. Republican backlash is growing, but one that supports the move is Illinois Congressman Mike Bost from Murphysboro. Since the trade war began, overseas sales of agricultural products have suffered, cutting deep into farmers’ already-slim profit margins. Bost says he believes the market will eventually level out.
The package includes direct payments to farmers, efforts to promote U.S. goods overseas, and an expansion of a program that purchases surplus farm output and distributes it to food banks and other anti-hunger programs.