The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will proceed with its second tranche of trade relief payments to American farmers as a result of retaliatory tariffs, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed on Thursday. “We just have gotten authorization on the second tranche. We’ll be getting it ready hopefully at the end of this month or early December,” he said. In May, the agency announced it would again provide payments under the Market Facilitation Program, valued at $16 billion. As part of the trade relief payments, eligible U.S. pork producers would receive $11 per head based on inventory between April 1-May 15, 2019. Additionally, the agency would make pork purchases of $208 million to support its programs for the food insecure. The first round of payments was issued in August and Perdue indicated a third tranche may not be necessary. “We’re very hopeful that the China negotiations can come to a favorable conclusion. The numbers that we’re talking about right now would be very beneficial to our agricultural producers. We’re hopeful that trade would supplant any type of farm aid needed in 2020,” he added. NPPC is grateful to the administration for providing partial relief, as hog farmers have incurred significant losses due to lingering trade disputes. For more information on the Market Facilitation Program, visit here.