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China Quickly Retaliating Against U.S.

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Following implementation day of President Trump’s tariffs on China, the nation responded quickly to retaliate with previously threatened penalties on U.S. pork, beef, soybeans and automobiles. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports China says Trump has “violated World Trade Organization rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date.” The first wave of tariffs was imposed Friday, which includes a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. The tariffs are expected to be followed by an additional wave on $16 billion of Chinese goods within the month.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports are sold to destinations that are in active negotiations or embroiled in trade disputes, according to CoBank. A CoBank spokesperson says, “Trade concerns pose the single greatest risk to the projected global economic growth of three to four percent.”

China’s implementation of tariffs on U.S. products means U.S. pork faces a 62 percent tariff level. The National Pork Producers Council responded that U.S. pork farmers now face large financial losses and contraction because of escalating trade disputes, meaning “less income for pork producers and, ultimately, some of them going out of business.” China announced a new 25 percent tariff in response to U.S. action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. That tariff is on top of the 25 percent punitive duty levied by China in early April in response to U.S. action under Section 232 of The Trade Expansion Act.

U.S. pork already had a 12 percent tariff on exports to China. The country also has a 13 percent value-added tax on most agricultural imports. China represented 17 percent of total U.S. pork exports by value in 2017. NPPC President Jim Heimerl added, “We need these trade disputes to end.”

Source: NAFB News Service