WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded an announcement from President Donald Trump that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19, including tobacco farmers in North Carolina who have been affected.

In April, Senator Tillis led a letter to Secretary Perdue urging the Department of Agriculture to make funds available from the CARES Act for tobacco farmers who need assistance. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) has already distributed one round of direct payments to agricultural producers whose markets have been disrupted or lost due to the pandemic. On August 11, USDA announced approximately 60 additional commodities that would be eligible for assistance under CFAP.

“Our nation’s agriculture producers have been severely affected by this unprecedented crisis, and I have been committed to providing them the assistance they need to continue feeding the nation,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for providing a second round of funding to help North Carolina farmers and including much-needed relief for tobacco farmers across the state.”

Congress authorized funding for CFAP in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was approved by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate. President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27. The CARES Act included $9.5 billion in funds to assist agricultural producers, as well as additional resources to partially replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Additionally, Congress provided flexibility for the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase commodities for emergency distribution in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

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