Iowans React to Chinese Tariffs on Pork

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CLIVE, Iowa  --  Following President Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs, China is firing back with tariffs on products like soybeans and pork.

On its website on Friday, China's Ministry of Commerce announced a 25% tariff on pork. Farmers and officials are worried about how this will affect the Iowa economy.

“Iowa is a very productive state when it comes to agriculture. So we lead the nation in, certainly, pork production, corn production. We are number one or number two in soybean production," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. "So we produce more of those products here in the state of Iowa than we consume in the state of Iowa. So we must move our products out of the borders of the state of Iowa, and in many cases, and is the case with pork and soybean in particular, those products need to move beyond the borders of the United States, as well."

One pork producer said these tariffs are going to hurt his business.

“If they impose tariffs on pork, that’s going to make the product more expensive, thus we’re not going to move as much product to China, so lowering the cost that we receive as producers. The product is in the pipeline, being produced and so forth, so if we don’t move as much there, it’s gotta go somewhere. So finding that new market or something, and if it doesn’t happen we’ll see less income,” Pork Producer Dave Moody said.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association said this might be good for American consumers, but exports are critical in the agriculture business.

“China is the world’s leader in pork production, pork consumption, and pork imports, but its domestic pork industry can’t support the population, so they need to import pork from the U.S. and other countries,” said IPPA Communications Director Ron Birkenholz.

Birkenholz said if China officially imposes those tariffs, they will have to expand their sales elsewhere.

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