BEIJING – Just days ahead of a visit to the United States by a top trade official representing China, and on the heels of stalled trade negotiations in Beijing with a US delegation, increased inspections of US pork imports at Chinese ports is causing the most recent bottleneck of shipments there, according to aReutersreport.

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, was unsuccessful in resolving the trade and tariff conflict stemming from President Donald Trump’s threat to mandate tariffs totaling as much as $150 billion on Chinese goods imported into the US. The Mnuchin-led delegation presented an extensive list of trade demands to China’s trade officials during the visit, but no agreement was reached. Liu He, China’s top economic official, is scheduled to visit Washington the week of May 14 to continue negotiations.

On April 2 the Chinese government implemented additional retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on agricultural and food products imported from the US, including pork, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). This was in response to increased US tariffs being levied on shipments of steel and aluminum from the country.

Pork exports from the US to China during 2017 represented $1.1 billion, while overall farm exports totaled just under $20 billion during the year.