The alleged “retaliatory” tariffs from Mexico were sparked after US President Donald Trump introduced a tariff on steel and aluminium exports to the US.
Mexico is the largest export market for US pork, representing nearly 25% of all shipments last year. NPPC president Jim Heimerl said a 20% tariff on US pork would eliminate US producers’ ability to compete effectively in Mexico.
“The toll on rural America from escalating trade disputes with critically important trade partners is mounting,” said Heimerl. “This is devastating to my family and pork-producing families across the United States.”
Although there has been no confirmation from the Canadian government, Canada is also expected to impose surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures of up to C$16.6 billion on imports of steel, aluminium and other products from the US.
In addition, trade negotiations between the US and other key international meat markets have not run smoothly over the past year, after China imposed a 25% tariff on US pork following Trump’s decision to also introduce 25% and 10% duties on imported steel and aluminium respectively.
Meanwhile Russia’s minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev recently supported a new bill that would authorise the federal government to end all Russia and US trade in agriculture.
Despite Trump’s tensions with overseas markets, the NPPC was confident that the President would not abandon farmers across the US.
“We take him at his word,” added Heimerl. “We appreciate the variety of interests and issues the Trump administration is balancing in its trade negotiations with Mexico, China and other countries.”
The North American Meat Institute also expressed its disappointment with the levied retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico, stating that the retaliation reaffirmed there were “no winners in trade disputes”.
“These retaliatory tariffs will disproportionately affect hardworking American pork packers and producers, who will bear the main burden of these measures in the form of lost revenue and restricted market access, particularly as US pork production is slated to rise this year,” said Meat Institute CEO Barry Carpenter.
“The Meat Institute urges Mexico and the US to work diligently to resolve any differences before additional tariffs and market access barriers take effect. Failure to do so will impose unnecessary hardships on American workers and consumers in both countries.”