Deadline for farmers to sign up for trade tariff federal aid extended
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The January 15th deadline has been extended for farmers signing up for direct payments from the federal government to offset losses from the U.S.-China trade dispute.
The extension comes as a result of the government shutdown, which has made it impossible for farmers to submit an application for the payments since December 28th.
The shutdown also means USDA helpline employees are not available to answer questions about applying for the payments.
The aid was set up after the U.S. and China implemented tariffs on each other’s exports, including agricultural commodities. This resulted in lower demand for American products in China like soybeans, corn, wheat and other crops.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture set aside $9.5 billion in direct payments to farmers affected by the losses.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the deadline will be extended by the same number of business days the government is shutdown.