Iowa hog farmers are concerned about trade war pork tariffs

Local News

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s going to end up making pork too expensive and then they won’t want to receive it which will cause a cold storage supply back here in the US which will lower the hog market,” says local hog farmer Brad Te Grootenhuis.

Pork producers are concerned about China’s decision to implement a 25% tariff on pork. Their hope is that Trump’s tariff tactics could benefit the US in the long run, but believes it’s too soon to predict the outcome.

“I’m not exactly 100% sure, you know, at this time it doesn’t look like a good deal for us, but they say long term it will be better so all we can do is just wait and see if it turns out to be a positive or not,” says Te Grootenhuis.

Last year alone, Iowa exported over 200 million dollars in pork to China…and without those sales, the influx of US pork could create a supply and demand nightmare for our country. Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture says he hopes things are settled soon.

“No one wins in a trade war.. and I think people understand that. My hope- and I think it’s one that’s shared with many across the state that I talk to is that we will in fact see some resolution to these things quickly,” said Mike Naig.

A local butcher we spoke to says the tariffs could benefit pork lovers.

Owner of ‘The Butcher Shop’ in Sioux City, Mike Cunningham said, “Business wise it probably will help because more people will be buying pork. So the demand for pork will go up since the price of the pork will go down and so people will be buying a lot more pork instead of beef probably.”

Although prices for consumers will decrease, as the number one pork producing state in the US, many Iowa’s stand to lose jobs.

Te Grootenhuis says, “So many jobs and so many livelihoods are dependent on agriculture, dependent on pork production and beef production and corn and soy beans in the area that as the prices lower its going to make it harder for people involved directly in the production of agriculture to survive. 

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