The Trump administration on Thursday announced a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. Three National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) members—President and North Carolina producer David Herring, Minnesota producer Randy Spronk and Illinois producer Phil Borgic—joined President Trump and USDA Secretary Perdue for the White House announcement.
"It was an honor to attend this event and represent U.S. pork producers, who have been significantly harmed by China's unfair trade retaliation," said Herring. "We thank President Trump and USDA Secretary Perdue for standing up for U.S. agriculture, restoring zero-tariff trade with Mexico and providing support for American farmers."
China is the largest consumer of pork in the world. Its swine herd has been ravaged by African swine fever, significantly reducing domestic production and increasing pork imports. However, U.S. pork producers have been hamstrung by a 50% punitive tariff from China, on top of the existing 12% duty. NPPC is eager for a resolution to the China trade dispute. Absent punitive tariffs, China currently represent an historic sales opportunity for U.S pork producers.
Additionally, NPPC urges Congress to quickly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which preserves zero-tariff access to markets that represent more than 30 percent of total U.S. pork exports. NPPC has designated USMCA ratification as a "key vote" and will closely monitor support of the agreement among members of Congress. U.S. pork exports to Mexico and Canada support 16,000 U.S. jobs.
NPPC also urges the administration to quickly complete a trade deal with Japan, the largest value market and the second largest volume market for U.S. pork exports. Japan's new trade agreements with the European Union and other regions are causing an erosion of U.S. pork market share.
According to Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, U.S. pork will see exports to Japan grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years if the U.S. quickly gains access on par with international competitors. Hayes reports that U.S. pork shipments to Japan will drop to $349 million if a trade deal on these terms is not quickly reached with Japan.
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