The estimate comes from the university’s economist Dermot Haye, who said the figure was based on the total harvest of 125 million hogs during 2018.
He added that that live hog values this year had been reduced by $12 per animal due to retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico against US pork in June, and the ongoing trade dispute with China cost producers $1 billion or $8 per animal.
Mexico introduced a 10% tariff on US pork, which increased to 20% just a few weeks later.
The Mexican tariffs against US pork were sparked after US President Donald Trump introduced duties on steel and aluminium exports to the US.
During the introduction of tariffs on US pork, industry body the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) described the move as “devastating” for pork-producing families across the US and would eliminate producers’ ability to compete effectively in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Trump also took a tough approach on meat exports to China by slapping on tariffs however progress does seem to be taking place following talks at the G20 Summit in Argentina last week.
In light of the tariffs, NPPC president Jim Heimerl welcomed the news last week that the US, Canada and Mexico had signed the deal to open up trade between the trio of countries.
“We are very pleased with the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, one that preserves zero-tariff pork trade in North America for the long term,” said Heimerl. “But, it’s imperative that we remove US tariffs on Mexican metal imports, so that retaliatory tariffs of 20% against US pork are lifted.
“These tariffs, along with China’s retaliatory tariffs, have turned what promised to be a profitable year into a year of losses for export-dependent US pork producers.”