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Trump Farm Bailouts Raise Risks of Reprisals From Trade Partners

  • Massive aid package for farmers likely exceeds treaty limits
  • Breach ‘cuts the legs out’ from U.S. efforts to stop subsidies
A Hog Farm As Pork Prices Increase Amid Meat Industry Changes From Coronavirus
Photographer: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s billions in bailout payments for farmers probably pushed the U.S. past international treaty limits on subsidies, potentially inviting retaliation from trading partners, according to an advocacy group.

The Environmental Working Group, a critic of farm subsidies, calculated that the aid pushed “trade distorting” subsidies covered under a 1994 international agreement to $34 billion in 2019, far above the pact’s $19.1 billion cap for the U.S. The analysis projected the U.S. probably will exceed the cap again in 2020.