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Federal assistance planned

USDA has announced it will take action to assist farmers while the Trump administration challenges foreign trade practices.

The agency will reportedly authorize up to $12 billion in programs which USDA says is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs are aimed at helping producers 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,” Congressman Mike Bost said in a statement.

Lynn Rohrscheib, Illinois Soybean Growers chairwoman and a soybean farmer from Fairmount, Illinois, released the following statement in response the Trump Administration’s $12 billion agricultural aid proposal. “If trade is our problem, aid handouts are a poor solution. As producers, we would rather be able to sell our crop for a fair price and grow both agricultural export and market opportunities. Government handouts only provide short-term relief. The effect on our soybean supply chains could be disastrous if the U.S. government continues to pick winners and losers amidst this tariff spat. Our supply chains are already in a dangerous position due to harsh rhetoric, and a government handout only adds to the uncertainty. We continue to advocate for an end to this trade war and echo industry concerns for trade, not aid. We recognize the administration’s actions as being heard but feel that any solution should involve rescinding the tariffs.”

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