To determine the payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program, USDA used a formula that considers the export losses associated with trade tariffs. “In this case, you’ve got to have trade to be impacted,” said Undersecretary Bill Northey. “That’s why there is a huge difference between corn and soybeans. With soybeans, we have a lot of exports to China that were hit by tariffs. For corn, we already have the Chinese not following through on their trade agreements for biotech products, so we don’t have exports. It’s a much smaller number than for soybeans.” During the Red River Farm Network forum at the Big Iron Farm Show, Northey said the formula is based on 2018 production. “We’re not going to be able to look at how some products move in sympathy to others. Corn moves in sympathy with soybeans, but you can’t really capture that very well when you’re looking at 40 different commodities.” The trade tariffs have a $12 billion impact on agriculture, 40 percent of the total exposure from trade retaliation.
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