“Under the trade dispute, soybean exports to China alone have plummeted by 22 million tonnes, or over 90 percent,” said the USDA.
The Department of Agriculture has paid out $7.7 billion so far to help farmers impacted by the ongoing tariff war with China, according to William Northey, Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation.
The funds represent a portion of the $12 billion relief package that President Donald Trump pledged in July to offset the losses from retaliatory tariffs imposed by Beijing in response to Washington's tariffs on Chinese goods.
Northey's comments come as Trump prepares to meet Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to continue the next stage of trade talks ahead of a March 1 deadline.
If the two countries fail to strike a deal, the current tariff rate of 10 percent will be raised to 25 percent, resulting in billions of dollars of additional tariffs. However, Trump hinted earlier this week that the March 1 deadline was flexible, saying it was not a "magical date" by which any compromise was assured.