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Rep. Kind Wants Answers on Trade Bailout Money Distributions
USAgNet - 09/16/2019

A Wisconsin congressman is asking for an explanation after a recent report found that 15 Trump campaign advisors received significant funds from the USDA's Market Facilitation Program. In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Rep. Ron Kind asked why more than $2 million in trade aid went to some of the president's closest political agricultural advisors from his presidential campaign, while claiming family farmers in Wisconsin got next to nothing.

"For 18 months now, farmers in Wisconsin have been dealing with the repercussions from the President's reckless trade war," Kind said. "This trade aid package was supposed to solely provide short term relief to farmers impacted by retaliatory trade actions to the President's tariffs--instead it's being used to help those who serve to advance the President's own political agenda."

The Market Facilitation Program was created to help farmers being impacted by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Kind claims that several of these advisors received well over six figures, with one cotton grower and former county Republican Party chair receiving nearly $875,000. Additionally, a former Republican governor of North Dakota received over a quarter of a million dollars, Kind's office said.

Last month, the La Crosse Democrat sent a letter to Perdue with similar concerns after a report found that the top one percent of large farms received an average of $183,0 in trade aid, while the bottom 80 percent received under $5,000 on average.

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