Mexico imposes tariffs on US agricultural products

Mexico has responded to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with tariffs on American farm products, including pork, cheese, apples, potatoes, whiskey and cranberries.

Hans Slegers | Dreamstime.com
Hans Slegers | Dreamstime.com

Mexico has responded to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with tariffs on American farm products, including pork, cheese, apples, potatoes, whiskey and cranberries.

Last month, the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, sparking threats of retaliatory tariffs on many American products, including agricultural commodities. The EU has also threatened retaliatory tariffs.

Along with the tariffs, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto also suspended his country’s preferential treatment of the U.S. with regard to tariffs. The tariffs against the U.S. products are 10 percent effective today and will rise to 20 percent on July 5.

US pork producers respond

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said the tariffs will harm American pork producers’ ability to compete south of the border.

“The toll on rural America from escalating trade disputes with critically important trade partners is mounting,” NPPC said in a statement. “Mexico is U.S. pork’s largest export market, representing nearly 25 percent of all U.S. pork shipments last year. A 20 percent tariff eliminates our ability to compete effectively in Mexico.

“We appreciate the variety of interests and issues the Trump administration is balancing in its trade negotiations with Mexico, China and other countries. While producers are trying to be good soldiers, we’re taking on water fast. The president has said that he would not abandon farmers. We take him at his word.”

The U.S. pork sector sustains more than 500,000 jobs across rural America. More than 110,000 of these jobs are directly tied to exports of American pork, NPPC said.

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