Tariff Relief Welcome; Pig Farmers are in “Dire Financial Straits”

July 25, 2018 11:34 AM
 
The National Pork Producers Council says it commends President Trump for taking steps to provide much-needed relief to American farmers in the crosshairs of global trade retaliation. But the details are not clear yet.

The pork industry has been one of the hardest hit by retaliatory tariffs by both China and Mexico—the two largest export markets for U.S. pork.

Yesterday, as President Donald Trump asked for patience on trade, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $12 billion tariff relief package for farmers.

The National Pork Producers Council says it commends President Trump for taking steps to provide much-needed relief to American farmers in the crosshairs of global trade retaliation.

“President Trump has said he has the back of U.S. farmers and today demonstrated this commitment with an aid package to sustain American agriculture cut off from critical export markets as his administration works to realign U.S. global trade policy,” said Jim Heimerl, NPPC President and a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio.

“U.S. pork, which began the year in expansion mode to capitalize on unprecedented global demand, now faces punitive tariffs on 40% of its exports. The restrictions we face in critical markets such as Mexico and China – our top two export markets by volume last year – have placed American pig farmers and their families in dire financial straits. We thank the president for taking immediate action.”

Recent reports say there is renewed hope that a separate trade deal with Mexico could happen by August 2018, as Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said he is ready to start a new stage in U.S.-Mexico relations and seeks a “common path” on trade, migration, economic development and security.

“While we recognize the complexities of resetting U.S. trade policy, we hope that U.S. pork will soon regain the chance to compete on a level playing field in markets around the globe,” Heimerl adds. “We have established valuable international trading relationships that have helped offset the U.S. trade deficit and fueled America’s rural economy.”

U.S. Pork Depends on Exports

  • U.S. pork producers last year shipped more than 26% of total production, worth almost $6.5 billion, to foreign destinations.
  • Exports added $53.47 to the average price – $147 – producers received for each hog marketed last year.
  • Pork exports helped support about 550,000 mostly rural jobs, including 110,000 jobs tied directly to exports.
  • Based on export success and unprecedented demand for its product, the U.S. pork industry is currently on pace to expand production over the next two years by 8%.

See related content:

Is Pork Consumption the Silver Lining to Low Prices?

AgriTalk ATB: Can The U.S. Do More Damage?

Chief Ag Negotiator: ‘It’s Time to Play Offense’

 

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