Trump approves second round of trade aid payments for U.S. farmers

FILE PHOTO: Meagan Kaiser shows off a Soybean plant around 45-days before harvest on her farm near Norborne, Missouri, U.S., August 28, 2018. Picture taken August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dave Kaup/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he has authorized the second round of payments from a $12 billion aid package for farmers stung by the U.S. trade war with China, but did not specify an amount.

“Today I am making good on my promise to defend our Farmers & Ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. I have authorized Secretary Perdue to implement the 2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments,” he said in a Twitter post.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in July had authorized up to $12 billion in aid for farmers and ranchers hit by the fallout from Trump’s escalating trade war with China and the agency outlined the first round of payments.

An announcement on the second tranche had been expected in early December.

China had imposed a 25 percent tariff on American soybeans in July in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump had promised the payments to farmers stung by the trade disputes.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by David Alexander and Lisa Shumaker

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