Trump’s $28 million bailout for farmers that he announced back in September has received strong criticism. After farmers became damage in the trade war with China, the president developed an aid package for farmers which garnered much skepticism concerning the handling of the funds.
Now the U.S. Government Accountability Office is opening an investigation amid allegations that the money was mismanaged and allocated unfairly.
According to The New York Times:
‘The investigation came at the request of Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, who has been vocal in her concern that the aid program was biased, providing more funds to southern states that voted for Mr. Trump and favoring large and foreign agriculture companies over small farms.’
The Trump administration signed an initial trade deal with China last month, and said the farm subsidies would end this year. The program began in 2018 as a way to mitigate losses for farmers who lost sales or faced retaliatory tariffs from China, the European Union, Canada, and Mexico as a result of the trade war.
The Post reported:
‘Critics have faulted the program for the formulas it used to determine payments for certain crops and for providing funds to big corporate farms. The program which used a Depression-era fund, allowed farmers earning less than $900,000 a year to receive money if they produced one of the agricultural products that faced retaliation. The government also purchased certain products, such as apples, oranges and pork.’
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said in a statement on Friday:
‘It’s clear that the Trump administration’s trade assistance payments pick winners and losers rather than help the farmers who have been hit the hardest by this president’s trade policies.’