President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to protect American farmers, but the recent "trade war" has made the farming industry nervous.
Tuesday, the Trump Administration announced that it is rolling out an additional $12 billion in aid for farmers to help keep them afloat during the trade negotiations.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it will utilize a Great Depression-era law to send payments to producers of dairy, hogs and certain crops. It will also purchase surpluses of commodities including fruits, nuts, rice, beef, pork and milk and distribute them to food banks and other nutrition programs. And the agency will work with the private sector to develop new export markets for farmers," writes "CNN."
Several farm groups have applauded the decision, saying it's a step in the right direction. But they also warned that as the trade war progresses, the more of a negative impact it could have on the farming industry.
China is the largest market for farmers in the U.S. and Canada and Mexico are also big importers from American farms.
"The $12 billion package of agricultural assistance announced today by the administration will provide a welcome measure of temporary relief to our farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the financial effects of the trade war," said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "This announcement is substantial, but we cannot overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets ... We will continue to push for a swift and sure end to the trade war and the tariffs impacting American agriculture."
However, some don't think this will be enough.
"As Trump’s aid package tacitly admits, tariffs hit farmers especially hard. With farmers already facing economic head winds, including oversupply and drought, I predict that even with this aid, expanded tariffs would be the breaking point that puts some farmers out of business entirely," said Kalena Bruce, a fifth generation rancher living in Stockton, Mo. in her opinion piece for "The Washington Post."
Some Republicans, on the other hand, are also condemning the move, calling the additional aid "welfare." Over the past 20 years, the government has spent $16 billion on average on farm safety-net programs.
Read more about the new federal aid for farmers at "CNN."