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Foreign trade partners retaliated for increased U.S. tariffs in 2018—reducing U.S. exports of certain agricultural commodities. USDA gave affected farm producers $23 billion in 2018 and 2019 to compensate for lost exports.
In 2017, USDA announced a major initiative to provide better customer service to U.S. farmers, ranchers, and foresters by modernizing its IT operations. A key IT project was the 2018 launch of Farmers.gov to provide online self-service applications, like a farm loan eligibility tool.