U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement that the package will "ensure farmers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe."
"China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, and President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices," Perdue said. "Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year's program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them."
The agency based the plan on feedback from last year's $12 billion trade aid program, which was announced after Canada, China and Mexico put tariffs on American exports.
The $16 billion will be divided up between producers of barley, corn, dried beans and peas, flaxseed, sesame seeds, chickpeas and wheat, among other things. Money will also go to soybean fields, hog barns, dairy farms, cranberry bogs and other agricultural operations.
Payments will range from $15 to $150 per acre depending on the impact of the "unjustified trade retaliation" in a county. Non-specialty crops must be planted by Aug. 1 in order to be considered for payment.
Additionally, the USDA estimates that it will buy more than $1.3 billion worth of surplus commodities that have been impacted by the trade war, including $432 million in poultry, $208 million in pork, $151 million in beef, $88 million in apples and $68 million in dairy. The goods will be distributed to food banks, schools and other institutions that serve low-income Americans.