Some U.S. pork producers are going out of business in the face of tariffs applied by the Trump administration, the National Pork Producers Council said Saturday.
The pork production industry faces punitive tariffs of 62% on exports to China, a market that purchased 17% of total U.S. exports by value in 2017, the council said.
China recently announced a new 25% tariff in response to U.S. action on top of the 25% punitive duty levied by China in early April in response to U.S. action. And, U.S. pork already had a 12% tariff on exports to China.
Tariffs on American products make them less competitive on the international market.
Mexico also has a punitive tariff on U.S. pork, which increased from 10% to 20% on Friday, the pork producers council said.
From early March through May, pork producers lost $18 per hog, according to Iowa State University economists. That equates to more than $2 billion per year, the council said.
“We now face large financial losses and contraction because of escalating trade disputes. That means less income for pork producers and, ultimately, some of them going out of business,” said Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio.
America’s pig farmers and their families are shouldering a disproportionate share of trade retaliation against the United States, Heimerl said. “We need these trade disputes to end.”