In response to U.S. duties on imports of steel and aluminum, Mexico has imposed a 10% retaliatory duty on all chilled and frozen pork cuts imported from the U.S., as well as a 15% duty on sausages and a 20% duty on some prepared hams. The 10% duty rate on pork cuts will be in effect until July 5, at which point the rate is set to increase to 20%.
Mexico’s Ministry of Economy also opened a 350,000 metric ton duty-free quota that is aimed at attracting pork cuts from other sources, including the European Union. (Canada and Chile also have pork plants eligible to ship to Mexico, but these products already enter duty-free under NAFTA and the Chile-Mexico Free Trade Agreement.)
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom says that despite these obstacles, the U.S. pork industry will vigorously defend its share of Mexico's growing pork market and continue to pursue new opportunities for U.S. pork products in Mexico. Listen to this short audio report:
He notes that Mexico's per capita pork consumption has increased rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to the strong business relationships between U.S. suppliers and Mexican importers, processors, retailers and restaurant operators.
Mexico is the largest volume destination for U.S. pork exports. Through April, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to Mexico are on a record pace, totaling 282,675 metric tons valued at more than $500 million.