The Trump administration’s remedy for America’s farmers — flattened by tariffs and struggling during the coronavirus pandemic — is to slash farmworker pay, according to NPR.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is huddling with new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to figure how to slice wages for foreign guest workers on U.S. farms, sources told NPR.
As the White House plots to cut wages, President Donald Trump is pushing $16 billion in taxpayer subsidies to farm owners. The subsidies apparently would be in addition to the nearly $28 billion the administration has spent or set aside for farmers to mitigate the devastating impact of the president’s ongoing trade war.
“The administration is considering all policy options during this unprecedented crisis to ensure our great farmers are protected,” a White House official told NPR when asked about the strategy.
Critics charge that farmworker pay cuts will hurt workers who are already risking their lives to get food on Americans’ tables.
Some 2.5 million agricultural workers have been declared “essential workers,” NPR reported. Foreign workers in the nation on the H-2A seasonal guest-worker program make up a significant 10% of all farmworkers.
About 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past few weeks due to the pandemic.
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