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Key Economic Indicators 
Item  Rate 
CPI: 0.4% (Mar 2019) 
GDP Growth:   2.6% (4th QTR 2018)
Bank Prime Interest Rate:   5.5%
Consumer Confidence:  124.1% (Mar 2019) 
Small Biz Confidence:  101.8% (Mar 2019) 
Avg Gas Price:  $2.82 









Aug 2018


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Tariff Aid for U.S. Farmers

Help is coming for farmers.  The Trump Administration recently announced a program that will help farmers whose businesses will be negatively affected by tarrifs imposed by China.

China recently announced that it will levy an additional 25 percent Tarrif on $50 billion of U.S. imports.  On July 6, 2018 tarrifs on about $34 billion of those imports went into effect.  It will cover agricultural products including; soybean, corn, wheat, cotton, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetables.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative tariffs and non-tariff barriers can disproportionately burden the nearly 300,000 U.S. small- and medium-size (SME) businesses exporting to foreign markets.

The program announced by the Trump administration will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

President Trump's Tariff Aid plan draws on the financial resources of an existing program known as the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and Section 32 funding.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials say the aid will be available in three forms;


1. Direct payment to producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs.

2.  Government purchases of fruit, nuts, legumes, and some meats for distribution to food banks.

3.   Development of new export markets.

The for the program will be secure from the U.S. Treasury and does not require Congressional approval.  This procedure was put in place during the Depression ear.

According to numbers recently published by the USDA the value of U.S. exports and imports of agricultural products have been on the decline.

For farmers in the U.S. 20 cents of every dollar of their income relies on trade.  Because of this these additional measures will also be in place to assist farmers.  They include:


-The Market Facilitation Program:  authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  This program helps farmers to gain access to other markets.


-Food Purchase and Distribution Program:  under this program surplus goods are purchased from farmers and goes to nutrition programs.   This will be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).


-Trade Promotion Program: this program provide private sector assistance to open new markets.  This will be administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).

USDA officials are targeting Labor Day to have specific details on the Market Facilitation Program and sign up in place.  Visit these sites for announcements and specific information on the program as they become available.


Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).


The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)


USDA Press Releases


USDA Export Data
Secretary of Agriculture Press Release
Office of the United States Trade Representative

By Bill Williams













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