Statewide Iowa — China is the world’s largest consumer of pork products, but experts estimate by the end of the year, African Swine Fever will cut pork output in China in half.
Mike Paustian of Walcott, the president-elect of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says farmers here could step in and meet Chinese demand for pork — if the Trump Administration strikes a trade deal with China.
Paustian says pork producers are having a hard time planning for the future when they don’t know whether China’s market will reopen to pork.
Paustian says the U.S. is starting to fall behind in other countries that are important markets for pork. He cites Japan’s recent free trade pact with the European Union. Paustian says there are other countries in southeast Asia where more U.S. pork could be sold if trade deals are struck — and sales to those emerging markets could help soften the blow of pork exports that aren’t going to China.