Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. overpaid corn farmers $3 billion in Trump trade aid -GAO

CommoditiesDec 20, 2021 05:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Corn crops are seen being harvested from inside a farmer's combine in Eldon, Iowa U.S. October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Kia Johnson/File Photo

By P.J. Huffstutter and Leah Douglas

CHICAGO (Reuters) -The Department of Agriculture overpaid U.S. corn farmers in 2019 by around $3 billion for impacts from former President Donald J. Trump's trade policies, in part because the agency over-estimated the value of their lost export business, according to a nonpartisan government agency report released Monday.

The Market Facilitation Program in 2018 and 2019 distributed $23 billion in payments to farmers under the USDA's Farm Service Agency to help offset the heavy blows farmers faced in the wake of Trump's trade war with China and other top export markets.

Payments to corn farmers were approximately $3 billion more than USDA's final estimated damages from the trade war, while soybean, sorghum, and cotton farmers received less than the estimated trade damage, the report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found.

The report, requested by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, also found that the way USDA distributed payments led to producers in different regions receiving different payments for the same crop.

Farmers in the South benefited the most, according to the report, while farmers in the Northeast and West received the least amount in payments.

At the time, the widely varying payouts confused and irritated farmers, as well as local USDA employees who received limited training on the program and struggled to process applications and payments.

"We recommended better reviews and greater transparency in USDA analyses" going forward, the GAO said in a statement on Monday announcing the report.

The GAO recommended that USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) be more transparent in its methodology process, as well as revise its processes for assessing the baselines by which farmers are granted aid.

OCE disagreed with the report's findings and said its team did their job; that GAO's recommendations should not be aimed at OCE; and that the problem was with policy decisions in which it was not involved, according to an Oct. 21 letter it sent to the GAO.

"The role of USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist is to provide data-driven analysis. They did that," a USDA spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. "What happened from that point on was in the hands of President Trump’s political appointees."

U.S. overpaid corn farmers $3 billion in Trump trade aid -GAO
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email