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Trade aid likely days away

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Farmers seem to be President Trump’s first priority following the no deal decision on the U.S./China trade front.

What’s coming next for farmers? What’s coming next for America?

Trade aid is likely only days away. That is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response to President Trump promising farmers $15 billion in aid following the latest round of tariffs implemented Friday.

Speaking to farm broadcasters Tuesday, a slew of USDA officials discussed the new aid being prepared for farmers. USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney confirmed the formula for the payments will differ from the previous formula, which rewarded higher production and was not available if a farmer could not produce a crop.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce says he has not received any instruction regarding distribution of payments yet.

Up next for the President is a meeting with Chinese President Xi in June.

“Maybe something will happen,” said President Trump. “We’re going to be having a meeting at the G-20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”

Speaking at a White House dinner later on, President Trump said it will be clear in three or four weeks if a U.S. trade delegation trip to Beijing two weeks ago was successful. China’s top diplomat says talks are not supposed to be a “one-way street” and need to be conducted on the basis of equality.

At the same time Secretary Perdue is in Japan, trying to bring a trade deal together with that longtime buyer of U.S. goods.

Perdue says he wants it “sooner rather than later.” Perdue says the two countries can’t kick the trade can down the road forever and the President would “welcome an agreement” when he meets with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this year. In the same comments, Perdue acknowledged that a quick deal might be difficult. The details of the negotiations, including the timing of an eventual deal, are being left to the top negotiators of both countries.

“We are very much aware of the elections of the upper body of Japan’s Parliament in July,” said Perdue. “We are respectful of that, but President Trump is expecting that Japan would treat us as the premier customer we are.”

Trump hosted Abe at the White House last month. He hopes to clinch a deal in time for his visit to Tokyo on May 25-28