China announces 25% duty on U.S. pork

China has announced new tariffs on American agricultural exports as retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“We regret the Chinese government’s decision to impose an additional 25% duty on imports of U.S. pork and pork variety meat. The United States is a reliable supplier of pork products to China, and this decision will have an immediate impact on U.S. producers and exporters, as well as our customers in China. We are hopeful that the additional duties can be rescinded quickly, so that U.S. pork can again compete on a level playing field with pork from other exporting countries,” said Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO. “Exports have been a key driver of growth in the U.S. pork industry, and with nearly 27% of U.S. pork production exported last year, international trade is critical to the continued success and profitability of the U.S. industry. China is a leading destination for U.S. pork and especially for pork variety meat.”

In 2017, the U.S. exported 495,637 metric tons (mt) of pork and pork variety meat to China/Hong Kong, valued at $1.08 billion — the second-largest international market by volume and third-largest by value. For pork variety meat exports only, China/Hong Kong was the largest destination in both volume (321,116 mt) and value ($741.8 million), accounting for 63% of U.S. export value. Variety meat exports make a critical contribution to industry profitability, and last year these exports to China/Hong Kong alone equated to more than $6 per U.S. hog slaughtered.

“With U.S. exporters facing tariff and non-tariff barriers in China and other key markets, it is especially important to expand and diversify our export destinations for U.S. red meat,” Halstrom said. “USMEF is working constantly to identify new and emerging markets in regions such as Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa, and to expand our customer base in mainstay markets such as Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Canada.”

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