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IPPA Grateful for Aid, But Concerned About Ongoing Trade War
Illinois Ag Connection - 05/24/2019

The Trump administration Thursday announced a $16 billion dollar trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. Similar to the aid package announced last year, farmers can apply for direct payments for crops impacted by the tariffs and USDA will buy surplus products like milk and meat to distribute to food banks around the country. USDA says it will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments calculated based on the estimated impact to each country, as well as spend $1.4 billion to purchase goods and $100 million to develop other markets for U.S. goods.

"As pig farmers, we are pleased to hear that monetary relief is coming our way to help combat the losses we have incurred in recent months," says IPPA President Pam Janssen from Minonk. "More so, we are proud of the recent accomplishment regarding the lift of steel and aluminum tariffs under Section 232 with Canada and Mexico."

With the Section 232 tariffs removed, pig farmers will hopefully see $12 per head back in their pockets, as that value was deemed possible by exports to Mexico. Although Illinois pig farmers are grateful for the trade relief package, they are more concerned about the ongoing trade war and implications it has caused the markets. IPPA said it urges Congress to quickly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which preserves zero-tariff access to markets that represent more than 30 percent of total U.S. pork exports.

IPPA added that it knows that efforts are already underway to boost access for U.S. farm goods in India, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, among other countries. However, China is the main player that needs our focus right now. The current situation in China represents a historic sales opportunity for U.S. pork.

"The world's largest pork-consuming nation is currently experiencing a dramatic reduction in domestic supply because of an animal disease that has ravaged its national swine herd. We look forward to continued work with the administration to restore favorable access to China, allowing U.S. pork producers to capitalize on this opportunity, reduce our trade deficit with China and deliver enormous benefits to the U.S. economy," says David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., and president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

IPPA represents more than 1,700 pork producers throughout Illinois and the Illinois pork industry, which contributes more than $1.8 billion and more than 10,500 jobs to the state's economy. IPPA is comprised of county pork producer groups in approximately 20 counties throughout Illinois. IPPA is an affiliate of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.

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