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Pork drawn into Trump's trade wars

5th Jun 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Mexico will impose a 20% tariff on US pork imports in retaliation to US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to Reuters. 

Donald TrumpThe news agency reported that the retaliatory tariffs would apply to pork legs and shoulders from US suppliers, which account for about 90% of the country’s $1.07 billion annual imports of the cuts.

“It’s a 20% (tariff) on legs and shoulders, fresh and frozen … with bones and without bones,” said Heriberto Hernandez, president of Mexico’s leading pork producers association OPORPA, following a briefing with Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and his team. 

Mr Hernandez said he supported the Mexican government’s decision and does not expect it to cause pork prices in Mexico to rise because 'there are many alternatives' to US suppliers.

Last year, Mexico imported nearly 650,000 tonnes of pork legs and shoulders worth an estimated $1.07 billion, according to government data. Mexico’s overall pork imports in 2017 totaled about 840,000 tonnes.

Pork legs and shoulders are not as highly valued in the US, where ribs and bacon are in greater demand, but in Mexico they are used to make some of the country’s most popular dishes, including tacos al pastor and carnitas.