China tariffs could cost US pork industry US$2.2b annually

USA – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has said that following China’s 25% tariffs blow on US’s pork and related products, the pork industry could suffer losses worth US$2.2 billion annually, reported FoodBev.

According to NPPC’s statement, the US pork production is at record levels and that if the tariffs were lifted, pork exports could surge.

Jim Heimerl, president of the NPPC said that the US pork industry had invested significantly to ramp production to capitalise on growth opportunities around the world, including China and other markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“We applaud the administration for making the expansion of agriculture exports a cornerstone of the discussions with China.

“We hope the next round of trade talks with China results in improved market access to a critical export market for US pork and other farm products.

“We produce the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world.

We are dependent on exports and are one of the few sectors of the US economy that can immediately reduce the trade imbalance with China, where pork represents approximately 10% of the consumer price index,” said Heimerl.

This follows research conducted by Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes claiming that since the tariffs were imposed on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country, pork prices have significantly dropped.

China imposed tariffs on US$3 billion worth of US imports including pork in retaliation against Trump’s move to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminium into the United States.

A statement from Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council of China indicated the council had decided to impose a tariff of 15% on 120 items of products imported from the United States including fruits and related products.

Last year, US pork industry sold US$1.1 billion worth of products to China, thus the tariffs were clearly a slap on the face for the industry and the rural American farmers.

Recently, China offered to ease trade sanctions with the US, slashing its trade deficit by US$200 billion.

Through the Ministry of Commerce, China said it was dropping sanctions on US sorghum after the two sides said they were engaging in talks to ease trade tension.

NPPC on the other hand applauded US administration for making the expansion of agriculture exports a cornerstone of the discussions with China, at the same time urging it to ease tensions with the Chinese administration.

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