WASHINGTON – The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) added its worries to China’s proposal on April 2 to add tariffs on 128 products, including pork and beef, in response to the US imposing higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China.

Dan Halstrom president and CEO of USMEF said in a statement that, “over the past nine months, interest in US beef has steadily gained momentum in China and our customer base has grown. But if an additional import tariff is imposed on US beef, these constructive business relationships, and opportunities for further growth, will be put at risk. USMEF is hopeful that this trade dispute can be resolved without China introducing additional obstacles for US beef.”

In 2017, US exported 495,637 metric tons (mt) of pork and pork variety meat to China/Hong Kong, valued at $1.08 billion – our second-largest international market by volume and third-largest by value.

“We are hopeful that the additional duties can be rescinded quickly, so that US pork can again compete on a level playing field with pork from other exporting countries,” Halstrom said.

Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), echoed Halstrom’s concerns. 

“We are extremely alarmed about rapidly escalating trade tensions occurring between the US and China,” Carpenter said. “The US meat industry urges both governments to engage expeditiously in a constructive dialogue aimed at resolving issues before additional tariffs take effect.  There are no winners in trade disputes and the stakes are particularly high in the current situation. American agriculture and our meat sector in particular stand to suffer each day this tension continues.”