Business

Top Democrat assails Trump's $16 billion bailout for farmers

AP

A top Democrat says President Donald Trump’s $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by the trade war with China unfairly picks winners and losers, pitting the South against the North and small farms against wealthy producers.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan, is the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. She says Trump’s trade agenda has irreparably harmed farmers.

She leveled the charges Tuesday in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The letter is signed by 14 other Democratic senators, accompanied by a 12-page report. It’s one of the sharpest congressional critiques yet of the Market Facilitation Program.

Stabenow asked Perdue to improve the program before more payments go out.

The Agriculture Department defends the program, saying payments are based on trade damage, not region or farm size.