Idaho Industries Could Feel Sting Of New Chinese Tariffs

Apr 2, 2018

Amid the list of 128 American-made products China is adding new tariffs to a range of pork items.
Credit Kevin / Flickr

In the latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs between China and the U.S., the Asian nation has imposed new prices on 128 American-made products. The new regime of tariffs could impact some goods produced in Idaho.

Among the products China is raising tariffs on are wine and pork. In 2016, the Gem State produced about 160,000 cases of wine. That’s not a lot, and just a few cases were sent abroad. Still, Moya Dolsby, the head of the Idaho Wine Commission, is keeping a close eye on the increasing trade tension with China.

“Not a ton of Idaho wine is exported, currently, but it’s good to be aware of,” says Dolsby. “It’s going to impact definitely our neighbors in Washington and Oregon a lot more, and I’m really curious to learn what they’re going to do about it and how it’s going to impact them.”

Another industry with direct ties to the Chinese tariffs is pork. Six pig products, including frozen pork chops and pig forelegs and hind legs, are on the list.

“I can’t tell you specifically how much pork goes to China that’s raised in Idaho, but suffice it to say that one in four hogs raised are raised for the export market,” says Jim Monroe, a spokesperson for the National Pork Producers Council.

China is the second-biggest pork export market for the U.S. by volume. Last year we shipped $1.1 billion to the Middle Kingdom.

Monroe says 550,000 jobs nationwide are tied to the pork industry – 110,000 of those jobs are linked to pork exports. He’s hopeful the U.S. and China can resolve their current dispute and return to more favorable trading conditions.

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