Johnson and Kind Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging USTR Katherine Tai to Work with Vietnam to Eliminate Tariffs on U.S. Pork

May 7, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Jim Costa (D-CA) led more than 70 of their colleagues in requesting U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to urge Vietnam to eliminate tariffs on U.S. pork to improve market access for local producers.

“The past few years have been extraordinarily difficult for U.S. pork producers due to trade retaliation from top U.S. export destinations—Mexico and China as well as supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-related harvest-facility shutdowns and slowdowns created an unsustainable surplus, leading hog values to plummet to levels not seen since 2002. Many producers were left with no option but to euthanize livestock to avoid overcrowding. Additionally, due to Section 232 tariff retaliation, U.S. pork is facing a 33 percent tariff in China, the world's largest pork consumer, but our competitors pay only 8 percent into that market. U.S. pork producers and their families are still recovering from the enormous toll placed on them due to no fault of their own,” said Johnson and the Members of Congress.

“Domestic pork producers need a level playing field to compete in this critical market, particularly after being devastated by trade retaliation and the global pandemic.”

“We thank Rep. Johnson and the more than 70 other lawmakers for their support in recognizing the importance of the Vietnamese market to U.S. pork producers,” said National Pork Producers President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Vietnam represents a significant opportunity for U.S. hog farmers, yet we’re hamstrung by unjustified tariff and non-tariff barriers, allowing global competitors to take advantage of the supply shortfall.” 

Read the full letter here.