Concerns over retaliatory tariffs coming from Mexico have cost pork producers in Iowa roughly $560 million, reported the Des Moines Register on Friday.
The newspaper says that Iowa pork producers might take another major hit if Mexico imposes a 20 percent tariff for hams and pork shoulders that come from the U.S.
Iowa producers already deal with a 25 percent tariff on exports to China. However, duties from Mexico — which is the largest export market for U.S. pork by volume — could hurt producers. Some may go out of business, which is good for cutting down on pollution and limiting the severe animal rights abuses which are inherent in pig farming, but not so good for the farmers who profit from the suffering of the pigs.
Iowa is by far the largest pork producer in America, according to Gregg Hora, who is the president of Iowa Pork Producers Association. Gregg Hora told the Register the threatened tariffs could be “potentially devastating news for Iowa’s pig farmers and the rural Iowa economy.”
The pork tariff threats from Mexico happened after President Trump announced on Thursday that America would impose heavy import taxes on steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, Mexico and even the European Union.
All of those markets had been exempted at first from the tariffs, when tariffs were announced back in March. However, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claimed that trade talks weren’t going well enough for a continued exemption.
So, Canada, Mexico and the EU are threatening a series of retaliatory import duties on U.S. goods, like blue jeans, bourbon, and yogurt.
Both Canada and the EU have brought cases against America at the World Trade Organization.