WASHINGTON – According to President Trump’s Twitter feed on May 30, the US will impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming into the US from Mexico and gradually increase until the illegal immigration from Mexico stops.

The tweet read, “On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”

An immediate follow up from President Trump read, “....at which time the tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”

David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) issued the following statement on May 31:

“We appeal to President Trump to reconsider plans to open a new trade dispute with Mexico. American pork producers cannot afford retaliatory tariffs from its largest export market, tariffs which Mexico will surely implement. Over the last year, trade disputes with Mexico and China have cost hard-working US pork producers and their families approximately $2.5 billion.

“Let’s move forward with ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, preserving zero-tariff pork trade in North America for the long term; complete a trade agreement with Japan; and resolve the trade dispute with China, where US pork has a historic opportunity to dramatically expand exports given the countries struggle with African swine fever.

“We hope those members of Congress who are working to restrict the administration’s trade relief programs take note. While these programs provide only partial relief to the damage trade retaliation has exacted on U.S. agriculture, they are desperately needed. We need the full participation of all organizations involved in the US pork supply chain for these programs to deliver their intended benefits.”

Iowa State Univ. Economist Dermot Hayes predicts that US pork producers will lose the entire Mexican market if they face protracted retaliation, according to the NPPC’s press release. In 2018 the Mexican market represented 20 percent of total US exports. As of April 1, of this year, US pork exports were down 28 percent from the same period last year.

The New York Times reported a presidential statement following President Trump’s tweet said the tariffs would jump to 10 percent on July 1 if “the crisis persists,” and raise an additional five percent each month for three months. The tariffs would stay at 25 percent until Mexico acted, he said.