China imposed a retaliatory 25% tariff on 545 US products last week, including beef, worth a total of US$34 billion, in response to the increased US levy on Chinese goods.
The retaliation on the US’ agriculture sector is worth a total of $16.5bn.
NASDA’s director of marketing, communications and economics development division at the Utah department of agriculture and food, Andy Pierucci, said the combined tariffs would lead to serious economic consequences for the agriculture industry across the entire country.
“Four of our top five agriculture and food exports to China will be impacted by these tariffs. We are talking about tens of millions of dollars in sales at stake here, and it’s going to hurt our farmers, ranchers and other food producers,” said Pierucci.
Trade tensions have slowly built over the past 18 months between the US and China, with the two nations constantly at loggerheads, which has affected the meat industry.
The so-called ‘trade war’ began when US President Donald Trump introduced trade tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels. China reacted negatively to the decision and targeted the US’ thriving meat sector by imposing retaliatory meat duties for US pork and beef.
Following the decision, US pig meat exporters had to pay an additional 25% on duties sold to mainland China. Pork producers across the US have estimated that the China trade war could lose them up to $2.2 million a year.