DES MOINES, Iowa- Mexico's announcement of tariffs against U-S pork is a "hot topic" at the World Pork Expo, underway in Des Moines.
Maria Zieba is the International Affairs Director at the National Pork Producers Council and told The Big Show, on WHO Radio, that the U-S exported $1.5 billion of U-S pork last year, and Mexico is by far the largest customer in terms of volume. Iowa is the leading pork producer in the U.S.
Zieba says the industry is watching the issue closely because Mexico and Canada have been good trading partners for US pork producers, and we've become dependent on selling the products.
Zieba says Mexico wants to be exempt from paying duties on U-S steel and aluminum. She says the pork industry is often targeted, during trade disagreements for two reasons: US producers have the highest quality at the lowest cost, so their products often end up on retaliation lists, because other countries want to protect their own similar industries at home, she says a second reason is that pork producers have been vocal in the past, when there are trade disagreements such as this, and countries know that, and understand there can be political ramifications in key states.
Zieba say trading partners say they keep negotiations about the North American Free Trade Agreement separate from the dispute over aluminum and steel. She says the US delegation may disagree, however, and see the issues as linked.
Mexico has announced the tariffs will impact billions of dollars worth of American goods, including pork, apples, potatoes, cheese, and bourbon.
The tariff calls for a 10-percent duty on US pork, now through July 4th, that increases to 20-percent July 5th.