Trump trade war: Mexico slaps tariffs on US pork

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Trump trade war could have a significant impact on US pork
The Trump trade war could have a significant impact on US pork
Mexico plans to impose pork tariffs on some US cuts and products following President Donald Trump’s introduction of tariffs on US steel and aluminium imports, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

USMEF said the situation was not entirely clear, but more details will be announced of tariff rates and exact products to which the tariffs could apply once they become available.

The imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs has also sparked a negative reaction from Europe and Canada who are also expected to plan retaliatory moves.

Canada intended to impose surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures up to C$16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminium, and other products from the US, Canada’s department of finance revealed in a 31 May statement.

The move was also billed as a reaction to Donald Trump’s tariff measures, with the proposed tariffs totalling the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the US measures. Canada also added that the government was considering additional measures.

The EU today (1 June) made public a 10-page list of American products that were potential targets for retaliation, although no meat products were on the list.

USMEF CEO Dan Halstrom said it would be unfortunate if US pork exports to Mexico no longer enjoyed duty-free access to this critical market.

It is frustrating to see US pork caught up in a dispute that has nothing whatsoever to do with pork trade​,” said Halstrom. “If these tariffs are implemented, they will negatively impact millions of consumers and thousands of people in the meat and livestock industries on both sides of the border​.”

Halstrom added that USMEF was hopeful that this “impasse​” would be resolved as soon as possible, with duty-free access for US pork maintained.

This is especially important now that key competitors such as the European Union are making market access gains in Mexico and view it as a promising market for their pork products​.”

The National Pork Producers Council also raised concerns following the decision made by Mexico and Canada and has called for an end to the trade disputes.

"Today's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Mexico and Canada, critical export markets, significantly heightens our concern as Mexico is already threatening to retaliate against US pork​," said The National Pork Producers Council president Jim Heimerl.

"We call for an end to these trade disputes so that hard-working US pig farmers can do what they do best: meet global demand for one of our nation's most competitive export products, one that favourably impacts US trade imbalances with countries around the world​."

In 2017, Mexico was the largest volume market for US pork exports, representing more than 800,000 tonnes of pork, valued at $1.51 billion.

Related topics: United States, Industry & Markets, Pork

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