China’s state media is reporting that the country will exempt some American soybeans, pork and other agricultural products from additional tariffs to ease tensions between it and the United States. According to The New York Times, China Central Television cited President Trump’s decision to delay additional tariffs by two weeks as a factor in the decision.
China has been facing rising pork prices as African swine fever has led the country to cull more than 1 million pigs. The country has also cut into its stores of pork to meet demands.
National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., issued the following statement:
“If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development. The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60% on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate on most U.S. pork to 72%.
“According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the Chinese retaliation on U.S. pork has shaved $8 off the price of every hog sold in the United States for well over a year. Most of our competitors face only a 12% tariff on their pork exports to China. Pork is somewhat unique given that it is the most important protein consumed in China, accounting for a significant part of the consumer price index.
“Additionally, pork is in short supply in China because African swine fever has ravaged the Chinese hog herd and significantly reduced the production of pork. When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear. U.S. pork exports could single handedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China. We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of U.S. pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of U.S.-China trade restrictions.”
Source: The New York Times, NPPC