Farmers have been hit hard by COVID-19 and President Trump is working to help them. Andrew Restuccia and Jesse Newman report in the Wall Street Journal, writing:
President Trump unveiled $13 billion in new aid to farmers facing economic harm from the coronavirus pandemic as he aimed to boost support among rural voters at a campaign rally.
“I’m proud to announce that I’m doing even more to support Wisconsin farmers,” said Mr. Trump, speaking outside an airport hangar with Air Force One parked behind him, as he announced the agriculture aid.
Wisconsin, whose economy is heavily reliant on agricultural production, is seen as a key battleground in the coming presidential election. Mr. Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin in 2016 and polls show he is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, his Democratic rival, in the state.
The president used the event to draw a contrast with Mr. Biden, arguing that the former vice president would hurt the state’s farmers and loggers.
“If Joe Biden gets in, the radical left will shut down Wisconsin’s timber production for environmental reasons,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Biden hasn’t outlined plans to eliminate timber production.
Thursday’s event was the latest in a series of Trump campaign rallies in crucial states. Mr. Trump went to Nevada last week and is scheduled to travel to Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the coming days.
The newly announced aid would be the second tranche of money issued as part of the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. In April, the administration unveiled $19 billion in relief for the agriculture sector, including $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers and $3 billion in mass purchases of dairy, meat and produce. The funds came from coronavirus-relief legislation passed by Congress earlier this year as well as from the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp., a Depression-era program designed to stabilize farm incomes.
This time, the USDA said up to an additional $14 billion dollars would be available to farmers and ranchers facing continuing market disruptions and costs from the pandemic, including producers of row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and other commodities. Farmers can apply for the aid at USDA’s county offices between Sept. 21 and Dec. 11 of this year. It couldn’t be determined why there was a discrepancy between the amount announced by Mr. Trump and the sum given by the USDA.