China has responded to President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum with their own tariff list of 128 American-made products including pork, fruit, and wine. The tariffs will affect roughly $3 billion in U.S. products.
The National Pork Producers Council CEO Neil Dierks said the organization is disappointed that China has placed an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork exports.
“Exports are extremely critical to the financial well-being of our producers. Over the past 10 years, the United States, on average, has been the top exporter of pork in the world, and we’re the lowest-cost producer. In any given year, we export pork to more than 100 nations, and those exports support 110,000 American jobs. Last year, nearly $6.5 billion of U.S. pork was exported, which was more than 26 percent of U.S. pork production,” Dierks said.
“China was the third largest value market, with more than $1 billion in U.S. pork being shipped there last year. We recall that not long ago there was serious talk about termination of the U.S.-Korea FTA. We are pleased that the U.S and Korea were able to reach an agreement that has not prejudiced U.S. pork producers or other sectors of U.S. agriculture. We recognize that the U.S. and China are negotiating, and we are hopeful that the 25 percent tariffs on U.S. pork will be short lived.”
Following a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture last week, U.S. Soybean Export Council Asia director Paul Burke said China is still considering import curbs on soybeans from the United States.
“This is a tax on American farmers, brought about by protectionist trade policies. American farmers appear to be the first casualties of an escalating trade war. With farm incomes already declining, farmers rely on export markets to stay above water. These new tariffs are a drag on their ability to make ends meet,” said Max Baucus Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair. “This could be the calm before the storm. While $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs is a major hit, the retaliation expected on agriculture from the 301 trade action could be broader and deeper. Now is the time to deescalate both the trade rhetoric and actions that have brought us to a point where American farmers are being targeted.”