Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Trump Farm Aid Is Deja Vu for ’80s Traders Skeptical of Plan

  • U.S. purchases in the 1980s resulted in giant stockpiles
  • Aid agencies don’t usually ship feed grains like corn and soy
A soybeans harvest in Princeton, Illinois, U.S.

A soybeans harvest in Princeton, Illinois, U.S.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Traders who lived through the 1980s U.S. farm crisis have a good reason to be skeptical of President Donald Trump’s new plan to help growers.

That’s because they question whether the U.S. would really be able to ship all of the $15 billion in potential federal farm-good purchases as humanitarian aid to poor countries. Instead, they suspect the government will end up stockpiling. Keeping reserves in the country won’t solve the current overhang and, if history is any guide, the pile will just keep on growing.