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DeLauro Presses USDA on Distribution of So-Called “Trade Aid” Payments

September 17, 2019
Press Release

DeLauro: “American farmers deserve transparency and to know these payments are going to them and not corporate agribusinesses.”

WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2019) – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today sent a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Purdue requesting a briefing for Members of Congress on the Administration’s unprecedented use of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Due to President Trump’s chaotic trade policy towards China, USDA has directed $28 billion in CCC funds in so-called “trade aid” payments over the past year.

“The Administration’s broad and sustained use of CCC funds for agricultural programs are far beyond the size and scope of Congress’s original intent. Many leading experts have rightfully called into the question the legality of using CCC funds to distribute such large amounts of assistance,” wrote DeLauro. “Moreover, much of the support that was promised to struggling farmers has instead flowed to those with no need of government assistance. To date, we only know a small fraction of where this money has gone. We do know, for example, the corrupt, foreign-owned meat processor JBS has received approximately $90 million and fifteen advisors to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign have received at least $2.2 million.”

“Going forward, American farmers deserve transparency and to know these payments are going to them and not corporate agribusinesses,” continued DeLauro. “Thus, it is essential that Members of Congress be briefed as soon as possible as to the Administration’s future plans to continue distributing direct assistance using CCC funds.”

DeLauro serves as Vice-Chair of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for funding the USDA.