November 17, 2019 / 4:29 PM / a month ago

Trump hails 'cash' to farmers, U.S. aid in China trade war

FILE PHOTO: A farmer plows a field in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California, United States August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday welcomed a “cash” payout to American farmers before the Thanksgiving Day holiday that he attributed to China tariffs, but that money actually is part of a U.S. government aid package.

“Our great Farmers will recieve (sic) another major round of ‘cash,’ compliments of China Tariffs, prior to Thanksgiving,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The smaller farms and farmers will be big beneficiaries. In the meantime, and as you may have noticed, China is starting to buy big again. Japan deal DONE. Enjoy!”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will begin making a second round of 2019 trade aid payments to U.S. farmers next week.

The payments are the second part of a three-tranche $16 billion aid package announced in May to compensate farmers for the U.S.-China trade war. China imposed tariffs on key U.S. agriculture exports including soybeans and pork last year after Trump’s administration levied duties on Chinese goods.

The United States and China are trying to negotiate a phase one trade pact to end the tensions, but it is unclear when it might be finalized.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft

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