Western Grower & Shipper 2018 11Nov-Dec

developed for almonds ($63 million) and cherries ($111 million), based on a formula that takes into account 50 percent of a grower’s total production and their adjusted gross income (AGI), post-harvest in the current year. Payments will be capped at $125,000. The sign up period runs now through January 15, 2019. More information can be found at: https:// www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp What Western Growers Has Done First and foremost, WG continues to drive home the message with the Administration and Congress that our industry supports

is equitable, and that the programs are accessible and usable for our unique industry. We continue to work through technical and operational matters with USDA, and we stand ready to assist WG members interested in accessing the trade mitigation programs. Looking Forward On the heels of its deals with Mexico, Canada and South Korea, the Administration has publicly expressed interest in crafting bilateral agreements with Japan and India. However, at the time of this writing, the Administration has given no indications that significant strides have been made towards resolving the trade dispute with China, nor when tariffs are expected to be lifted and markets fully re-opened. Throughout several conversations with officials from the Department of Commerce, USDA and

USTR, the common message has been that a trade dispute ‘exit strategy’ (with China and others) has still not yet been developed, and we should continue to expect negative reverberations in our industry for several more months ahead. USDA has described this mitigation package as a “short-term relief strategy to protect agriculture producers.”As such, there is no official word as of yet if a second mitigation package will be deemed warranted or authorized by USDA; if one were to occur, it would likely be rolled out early next year. Absent any drastically positive progress in the U.S.-China talks, we anticipate we will be re-engaging with USDA to discuss a second round of assistance, as well as the other agencies to further press for a timely resolution and restored (if not improved) market access.

trade, not aid; a resolution to all the conflicts must be secured as soon as

possible to prevent further industry damage. Concurrently, we worked closely with officials to ensure our share of the mitigation funds



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