Reported by Chinese broadcaster CCTV, pork from the US was one of the commodities that would no longer be subjected to tariffs by the government as part of the trade war between the two countries.
National Pork Producers Council President David Herring said: “If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development. The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60% on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate on most US pork to 72%.”
Herring explained what the impact of tariffs on US pork has been. “According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the Chinese retaliation on US pork has shaved $8 off the price of every hog sold in the United States for well over a year. Most of our competitors face only a 12% tariff on their pork exports to China. Pork is somewhat unique given that it is the most important protein consumed in China, accounting for a significant part of the consumer price index.”
One suspected reason for the suspension of tariffs is the rise in incidents of African Swine Fever.
“Additionally, pork is in short supply in China because African swine fever has ravaged the Chinese hog herd and significantly reduced the production of pork,” said Herring. “When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to US pork producers is clear. US pork exports could single-handedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China. We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of US pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of US-China trade restrictions.”