Farmers are asking for more federal aid from the financial hits during the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent multi-stop visit around the Midwest, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told a group of Indiana farmers it will take billions of dollars on top of what has already been distributed.
The request for COVID-19 relief follows two years of farmer subsidies due to the ongoing trade war with China.
Perdue said the U.S. government subsidies given in recent years are less than other countries and help keep prices at the store among the lowest in the world.
“We did a study that showed the American consumer benefits to the tune of $830 billion. A lot of people want to talk about farm subsidies. I asked who’s subsidizing who,” said Perdue. “With a number of families in the United States versus France, France would have paid $830 billion more for their food supply than we did here in this country. That's why we can buy this other stuff from China and all over the world because we're paying lower prices for our food than anywhere else in the world.”
Perdue said another $20 billion to $25 billion will be needed to help farmers hurt by the pandemic but did not provide a detailed plan on when that aid might come through.