Chinese Pork Tariffs Could Hurt Ohio Farmers, But Lower Prices For Consumers

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In response to the the recent U.S. tariffs levied on steel and aluminum, China has retaliated by setting tariffs on several American goods, including produce, wine, and — to the concern of many Ohio farmers — pork.

The new tariff could lead to problems for Ohio's $585 million hog industry, as China is the third biggest buyer of American pork. Decreased Chinese demand would lead to smaller profits for farmers. Lower profits would lead to fewer hogs being raised as farmers lower their prices. This could potentially slow demand for soybeans as well, a much more daunting risk to the state's agricultural industry, as soybeans are Ohio's most valuable crop.

Despite the lasting effects the new tariff might have on the livelihood of Ohio's farmers, and the health of its agricultural industry, consumers could see some benefit. As farmers lower the prices of their hogs, this would translate to lower pork prices in stores, at least in the short run.

Any possible price changes in livestock generally take up to a year to take effect. However, the Des Moines Register points out that any greater shifts in America's trade policy, such as leaving NAFTA, could lead to complete pricing chaos.


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