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Pork Tariffs Problem for Local Hog Farmers

June 13, 2018 11:41 AM

(ABC 6 News) - In March, President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which have received backlash from some of the United States’ closest allies. Now Mexico is firing back, targeting American pork. ABC 6 News found out how that’s affecting local pork producers in Minnesota and Iowa.    

David Mensink owns a medium-sized farm in Preston Minnesota. He does corn, soybeans and beef cows, but over 90 percent of his business is pigs. 

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"These tariffs are definitely an issue," Mensink said.

The tariffs announced by the Mexican government could be a problem for hog farmers. 

"It’s an issue in the trade disputes, the pork is definitely at the spear at taking the brunt of a lot of it. There are a couple reasons for that," said Mensink.

One reason? America is really good at producing pork. David says it's some of the highest quality, safest meat around, "That’s why it’s in such demand worldwide."

Making matters worse, the tariff is going to double.

Dr. Howard Hill, a farmer near Ames, Iowa said, “When we have to pay tariffs or somebody has to pay that 10 percent tariff, which could go as high as 20 percent in a month, it makes us less competitive in the international market."

Which, of course, is a big concern for hog farmers in both Iowa and Minnesota. 

“We really want this to get worked out because these countries are relying on us as suppliers of a very high quality product,” said Mensink, “and we'd rather they don't go search for that product someplace else.”

Right now, hog farmers aren't really sure what to expect. They're holding on to hope that the tariff can be renegotiated.

The tariff increase is set to go into effect July 5th. 
 

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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