Further U.S. Farm Bailouts Risk Violating Trade Agreements

Farm Bailouts Tractor

With the next COVID-19 spending bill, total federal farm bailouts for the year could surpass $50 million.

This would set a new record. More importantly, it will once more violate U.S. commitments to international trade partners.

These bailout payments were designed with the intent to help farmers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and President Donald Trump's trade war. The farm subsidies likely pushed federal farm spending in 2019 beyond the subsidy caps. The 1994 World Trade Association (WTO) agreement set the caps.

In 2019, farm spending exceeded the spending limit set by a 1994 trade agreement for the first time. Federal farm spending will also likely surpass the $19.1 billion cap on "trade distorting" subsidies in 2020.

This year, farm spending rose by more than $7 billion in...

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