Mary Margaret Olohan on May 23, 2019

President Donald Trump authorized the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Thursday to give $16 billion to U.S. farmers suffering from Chinese tariffs, saying that his administration is fighting for farmers “on every front.”

The White House outlined programs intended to help farmers while giving the president time to work out a beneficial trade deal with China. The funding is intended to help farmers hurt by China’s “unjustified trade retaliation,” according to a White House press release.

“On every front, we are fighting for our great farmers, our ranchers, our growers,” Trump said in a statement Thursday.

Trump’s plan calls for $14.5 billion of the relief funds to be given to producers in three separate allocations through the Market Facilitation Program. Another $1.4 billion of the funds goes to the Food Purchase and Distribution Program in order to purchase surplus commodities and give to groups such as schools and food banks. The plan also allocates $100 million to American producers’ export markets through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program.

“All of us are hopeful of a renewed or signing of fair trade deal,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said to reporters, according to The Washington Post. “I can’t recall a president more concerned about farmer well-being. We are working hard to assess trade damages and this package ensures farmers will not bear the brunt.”

This is the second time Trump has provided relief in this way, the publication reported. The Trump administration also allocated $12 billion in funds to farmers in July 2018.

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