The Trump Administration recently imposed a 25 percent tariff on metal imports from China, the EU, and Mexico. The latest country to threat retaliation is Mexico, which is considering a 20 percent tariff on hams and pork shoulders.
Iowa pork producers already face a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork exports to China. The tariff threat from Mexico has caused increasing concern in recent weeks, and according to Dermot Hayes, an Iowa State University economist, these concerns have cost Iowa pork producers roughly $560 million. Tariff threats have also resulted in pork lower pork prices.
According to Gregg Hora, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa is the largest pork producer in the U.S., raising 40 to 50 million animals annually. The biggest importers of U.S. pork are Mexico, which bought $1.5 billion of U.S. pork last year, followed by China and Hong Kong, which bought $1.1 billion.
“We’ve worked many years, spent a lot of time and money building trade relationships to expand markets in Canada, Mexico and other key economic trading countries,” says Hora, adding, “We’re concerned about the loss of market share we’ve built up over the years.
With China’s increased tariff on U.S. pork, producers cannot go to China to sell pork profitably anymore. If Mexico continues on to put in act its 20 percent tariffs on U.S. pork, consumers will see increased pork supplies and lower pork prices.
“If these duties go in place, this would be a great time to fill up your freezer with hams,” Hora commented.