China Announces New Tariffs on U.S. Agricultural Products
China has increased tariffs by up to 25% on 128 U.S. products—including many food products—in response to the increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports announced by President Trump last month. The new tariffs, effective April 2, include 25% on U.S. pork and 15% on certain wine products, fruits, and nuts. China issued a statement on Sunday, April 1, stating that the new duties are being imposed to safeguard China’s interest and balance the loses caused by the steel and aluminum tariffs, reported Politico.
A number of U.S. agricultural trade associations expressed concern over the new tariffs, including those mentioned below.
National Pork Producers Council CEO Neil Dierks stated in a press release, “We are disappointed that China has placed an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork exports. Exports are extremely critical to the financial well-being of our producers.”
Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus stated in a press release: “This could be the calm before the storm. While $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs is a major hit, the retaliation expected on agriculture from the 301 trade action could be broader and deeper. Now is the time to deescalate both the trade rhetoric and actions that have brought us to a point where American farmers are being targeted.”
“These retaliatory tariffs will disproportionately affect hard-working American pork packers and producers, who will bear the main burden of these measures in the form of lost revenue and restricted market access, particularly as U.S. pork production is slated to rise this year,” Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, told FOX Business.
“The U.S. has made important gains in the Chinese market for a number of fresh produce products. The current proposal by the Chinese government targeting fresh fruit with retaliatory tariffs hurts farmers and businesses and is counterproductive to the growth of our export efforts,” Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy at the United Fresh Produce Association, told FOX Business.
The U.S. sent more than $21 billion worth of agricultural exports to China in 2016, including $578 million worth of pork products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.