Ag News: Smithfield To Pay Tariffs
**China’s recent announcement of an additional 25% tariff on U.S. pork products has led to questions about what this means for Smithfield Foods.
According to Successful Farming magazine’s annual Pork Powerhouse Ranking, Smithfield is the largest pork producer in the U.S., but is owned by the Chinese company WH Group.
A Smithfield official says the additional tariff is applicable to any pork we produce in the U.S. and export to China, and we will pay just like everyone else.
**Farm groups say they’ll bear the brunt of a trade dispute with China but urge both sides to find a solution.
National Corn Growers Association Chairman Wesley Spurlock says the tariffs make U.S. producers the “first casualties” in the trade dispute.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says the threatened retaliation against the U.S. tests the patience and optimism of farm families facing the worst ag economy in 16 years.
**Kansas Senator Jerry Moran says he assumes the Trump administration would
try to use farm bill legislation to shield the sector in a growing U.S.-China trade dispute.
However, no specific proposals for protecting farmers have been suggested, and lawmakers and the ag industry say the escalating trade battle could add to
uncertainty in coming months.
The farm bill typically uses crop insurance and other programs to help farmers withstand economic slumps.