The move, pioneered by Trump, will see $12 billon invested for those affected by retaliatory tariffs imposed by four key international markets, including Russia, China, Canada and Mexico.
The funds will be used for farmers to meet the costs resulting from disrupted markets, which are expected to total $11bn, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The US meat industry expressed its views on Trump’s farmer relief funds, but urged the government to do more to resolve the trade disputes.
Tearing down trade barriers
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said it was looking forward to reviewing the details of Trump’s trade retaliation relief package.
“Trade agreements and trade enforcement are the most effective long-term solutions to the challenges faced by US beef producers,” said NCBA’s director of international trade Kent Bacus. “For many years, US beef has been a target of high tariffs and restrictive trade policies from notorious actors like China and the European Union. We support a vigorous approach to tearing down trade barriers, including non-tariff barriers that are not based on science.
“Removing China’s highly-restrictive barriers on US beef exports could unlock the full potential of that market and result in $4bn in annual sales. Here at home, beef producers need relief from onerous federal regulations that undermine their businesses.”
Trump demonstrates backing of US farmers
Meanwhile, the National Pork Producers Council praised Trump’s commitments to support troubled US farmers and to realign the US global trade policy.
“US pork, which began the year in expansion mode to capitalise on unprecedented global demand, now faces punitive tariffs on 40% of its exports. The restrictions we face in critical markets such as Mexico and China – our top two export markets by volume last year – have placed American pig farmers and their families in dire financial straits. We thank the President for taking immediate action,” said NPPC’s president Jim Heimerl.
“While we recognise the complexities of resetting US trade policy, we hope that US pork will soon regain the chance to compete on a level playing field in markets around the globe. We have established valuable international trading relationships that have helped offset the US trade deficit and fuelled America’s rural economy.”
New trade agreements
Finally, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) revealed that accessing new markets was “paramount” for the industry and urged the administration to swiftly resolve trade disputes.
“As trade tensions have escalated, the needs of farmers – who are already struggling – are increasing,” said NASDA’s CEO Barbara P Glenn. “We look forward to working with USDA as it seeks to address the short-term challenges farmers are facing. As we move forward, long-term solutions [need to be found] to ensure farmers have certainty with existing markets and can access new markets.”