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US pork loses $1.5 billion from trade dispute with Mexico

4 December 2018, at 12:00a.m.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) last week called for an end to a trade dispute that has cost US pork producers an estimated $1.5 billion this year

"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 NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio.

"But, it’s imperative that we remove US tariffs on Mexican metal imports so that retaliatory tariffs of 20 percent against US pork are lifted."

Dr Hayes estimates that live hog values this year have been reduced by $12 per animal due to retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico against US pork in June. The loss estimate of $1.5 billion is based on an expected total harvest of 125 million hogs in 2018.

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. Dr Hayes estimates US pork producer losses of $1 billion, or $8 per animal, from the ongoing trade dispute with China.

Mexico and China represent approximately 40 percent of total US pork exports.