NPPC: Pork at Tip Of Spear from Tariff Backlash

Pork producers are feeling real pain from the latest volleys in the trade war. ( MGN Image )

Ask National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Vice President and Counsel Nick Giordano about the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on U.S. pork and his response is pointed and simple: “ouch!”

Mexico announced Wednesday it would raise tariffs on pork shoulders and legs, up to 20 percent by July 5. China had earlier announced new tariffs on U.S. pork products. Both moves come in response to a simmering trade war that has included new duties on Chinese products and tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

“I know other industries have been caught up in retaliation for these trade disputes,” Giordano told AgDay TV’s Betsy Jibben at World Pork Expo. “But I think we're probably the biggest industry and the industry that's been impacted the most. China and Mexico are huge markets so we're not just at the tip of the spear in these trade disputes, the spear’s in us and we are bleeding.”

Still, Giordano voiced support for President Donald Trump and his administration, indicating that the president is working for a long-term solution that will benefit U.S. agriculture.

“The President of the United States, the Secretary of Agriculture are saying they're going to take care of farmers and ranchers and that's important,” Giordano said. “So you're not going to see us anytime soon throwing rocks, but you know, we are certainly making it known to our policymakers and elected officials were really hurting.”

Giordano said NPPC leadership is telling members to be ready to hunker down and “be a patriot.”

Farmers, however, should have priority once the trade dust settles according to Giordano.

“We really should be first in line when it comes to making farmers whole,” he said. “And we're not asking for, you know, hog farmer payments or something like that. The best way to make us whole is to get us back in China, get us back in Mexico, get these trade disputes solved, get a bilateral free trade agreement with with Japan or go back in TPP.”

Watch the entire interview with Nick Giordano in the player above.