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Trump Announces Tariffs on China; U.S. Pork Targeted

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

President Donald Trump last week ordered new trade tariffs on up to $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. Trump directed the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to propose, within 15 days, a list of Chinese products that will face higher tariffs. The actions will likely result in tariffs on a proposed list of 1,300 products in response to China’s intellectual property practices, according to Administration officials. The proposed list is expected to include items in aerospace, information and communication technology and machinery. Trump also directed the Treasury Department to craft new restrictions that would block Chinese companies from being able to invest in certain sectors of the U.S. economy where it has sought to obtain U.S. technology.

The Meat Institute condemned the proposed tariffs, stating they would “serve only to undermine our access to the Chinese market and risk escalation of a trade war.”

“It’s clear the future growth of the U.S. meat sector, and agricultural economy, depends upon a robust trade relationship with China – one that adheres to international standards, embraces fair trade, supports American job growth and expands access of high-quality U.S. meat products to a growing consumer base. This restrictive trade policy will not only undercut U.S. agricultural exports and economic growth, but will also cause undue harm to America’s agricultural communities, which will likely bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory measures,” the Meat Institute’s statement continued.

China, meanwhile, responded to the U.S.’s previously announced worldwide steel and aluminum tariffs with reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the U.S., including a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork exports.

"The decision by the Chinese government to levy 25 percent tariffs on U.S. pork will significantly curtail exports to this critical market at a time when China is expanding hog production, pushing domestic pork prices lower,” the Meat Institute stated , urging the Trump Administration to pursue constructive negotiations with the Chinese government.

China, in 2017, was the U.S.’s second largest agricultural export market and the third largest market for U.S. pork. Moreover, 60 percent of U.S. hides and skins exports, which total $2 billion annually, are sent to China each year.

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