Hidden figures no more.
Facing some criticism about government estimates of damage to farmers from retaliatory tariffs, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a six-page description of how the agency came up with their numbers.
USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist developed an estimate of gross trade damages for commodities with assessed retaliatory tariffs by Canada, China, the European Union, Mexico, and Turkey to set commodity payment rates and purchase levels in the trade mitigation package announced by USDA on Sept. 4, according to a news release.
The agency said it uses the same math formulas often used in World Trade Organization trade dispute cases.
“We have pledged to be transparent about this process and how our economists arrived at the numbers they did,” Perdue said in the release. “Our farmers and ranchers work hard to feed the United States and the world, and they need to know that USDA was thorough, methodical, and as accurate as possible in making these estimates. It was a large and important task, and I thank Chief Economist Robert Johansson and his staff for their hard work.”