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Mexico Levies Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Pork Exports

Monday, June 11, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

Mexico last week levied punitive tariffs on U.S. pork exports in retaliation for duties the U.S. imposed on imported Mexican steel and aluminum. The 10 percent tariffs on unprocessed U.S.-exported pork hams and shoulders became effective June 5, and are slated to increase to 20 percent by July 1. The Mexican government, however, also announced U.S. pork producers could sell product to Mexico using a 350,000 metric ton duty-free quota, despite the retaliatory tariffs.

The move follows the Trump administration’s June 1 decision to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent duties on aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union. All three trading partners, which had previously been granted temporary exemptions from the tariffs, responded with retaliatory measures.

Mexico in 2017 was the largest volume market for U.S. pork exports, setting a sixth consecutive volume record, totaling 800,000 metric tons. Meanwhile, U.S. pork exports to Mexico were valued at $1.51 billion in 2017. For pork muscle cuts specifically, which are subject to the tariffs, U.S. exports to Mexico exceeded 650,000 metric tons, valued at almost $1.3 billion, in 2017.

In a statement, the Meat Institute reaffirmed that there are no winners in trade disputes and urged the governments of Mexico and the U.S. to work diligently to resolve any differences before additional tariffs and market access barriers take effect.

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