USDA proposes trade help rules for farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has proposed rules that would establish procedures and eligibility criteria for receiving help under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program.
“Helping American producers adjust to a changing and unpredictable economic environment is critical during these challenging times,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a statement. “The TAA for Farmers program can provide technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible producers who have been hurt by import competition.”
The TAA for Farmers program, which was reauthorized by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, applies to producers of raw agricultural commodities and fishermen who must show a greater than 15 percent decrease in the national average price, the quantity of production, or cash receipts compared to the average of the three preceding marketing years.
USDA said the assistance includes help in developing a business adjustment plan that can serve as a guide for adjusting a producer’s business operation to current economic conditions.
“The proposed rule is necessary, because ARRA made fundamental changes to the nature of the program, which also required changes to program regulations,” USDA said. “The new legislation focuses on providing technical assistance and now ties cash payments to completing an initial and long-term business adjustment plan, a requirement that was not part of the expired program.”
USDA will accept comments on the proposed rule through Sept. 14. The related Federal Register notice is available here.