And Trump is giving away a disproportionate amount of money to extremely large and wealthy farms.
A new analysis published on Monday found that 99.5% of the $8 billion-plus farmer bailout package Trump implemented to offset the damage from his trade war has gone to white farmers.
Trump has chosen to engage in a trade war with countries like China, which has since retaliated by freezing out American goods. U.S.-based farmers are losing revenue because they can no longer sell overseas to major buyers.
The administration has responded by spending billions in tax dollars on subsidies to farmers. Despite the billions being spent, it is not enough to make up the shortfall in revenue. But the funds are flowing to a key pro-Trump constituency.
The subsidy program, called the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), is giving most of its money to white farmers.
"The MFP has almost exclusively benefitted white men and their families, who appear to be disproportionately upper middle-class or wealthy," New Food Economy reported. "These payments further entrench already drastic inequalities in agriculture, along racial, ethnic, gender, and class lines."
Even in states with a relatively high number of black farmers, the money still mostly went to white-owned farms.
"In Mississippi, for example, where 38 percent of the population is black and 14 percent of farms have a black principal operator, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, only 1.4 percent of the $200 million distributed to farmers through the MFP went to black operators," New Food Economy noted.
The Trump bailout has sent a disproportionate amount of its funds to the largest and wealthiest farming operations. Among soybean producers, the largest 11% received 52% of the soybean payments through February 20. The largest 3% of producers got more than 25% of the payments.
Trump's plan is being executed on the back of years of discriminatory farming policy in the United States, giving old racist practices a multibillion-dollar boost thanks to the poorly conceived and executed trade war.
Trump declared only on that trade wars are "good, and easy to win." After over a year, there is no end in sight to the current round of hostilities and Trump has been unable to negotiate a settlement with China.
In the meantime, Trump is spending billions in favor of one of his key constituencies, and — like he is doing with much of the rest of his presidency — deepening racism and discrimination in America.
Published with permission of The American Independent.