Securing zero-tariff access to China for U.S. pork would be an economic boom for American agriculture and the country, according to the National Pork Producers Council. Based on an analysis by Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, unrestricted access to the Chinese chilled and frozen market would reduce the overall trade deficit with China by nearly 6% and generate 184,000 new U.S. jobs in the next decade. To spotlight the importance of opening the Chinese market to U.S. pork, as trade negotiations continue, NPPC today launched a digital campaign.
"Were it not for China's tariffs that are severely limiting access to American goods and other restrictions, including customs clearance delays, U.S. pork could be an economic powerhouse, creating thousands of new jobs, expanding sales and dramatically slashing our nation's trade deficit. China's actions would unleash tremendous benefits to U.S. pork producers, our nation and Chinese consumers who rely on this essential protein," says Hayes.
Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet and a major element of the country's consumer price index. China's swine herd has been devastated by African swine fever, a disease that affects only pigs with no human health or food safety risks. Domestic production has been reduced by more than 50% there, resulting in a mounting food price inflation challenge for the country.
According to Hayes' analysis, U.S. pork would generate $24.5 billion in sales if there was unrestricted access to the world's largest pork-producing nation over 10 years.
"The U.S. pork industry is missing out on an unprecedented sales opportunity in China when it most needs an affordable, safe and reliable supply of its favored protein," says NPPC president David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. "The United States is the lowest-cost producer of pork in the world, but with 72% tariffs we are not nearly as competitive as Europe, Brazil, Canada and other nations."