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U.S. can sell pork to Mexico through import quota, despite tariffs

U.S. can sell pork to Mexico through import quota, despite tariffs

U.S. producers can sell pork legs and shoulders to Mexico via an import quota despite retaliatory measures taken this week after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Mexican government said on Thursday.

Mexico published a long list on Tuesday of U.S. products it would subject to tariffs, including the pork cuts. The measures were a response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

But due to the country’s high consumption of pork legs and shoulders, Mexico created a quota for 350,000 tons that could be imported without tariffs. It was not previously clear that the quota would apply to imports from the United States.

The United States “will be able to take advantage of the quota because the quotas are not discriminatory,” the Mexican economy ministry wrote in response to a Reuters inquiry.

Over the past 10 years, U.S. pork made up 89 percent of Mexico’s imports of the meat, accounting for about a third of local consumption, according to the ministry.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said this week that Mexico expects to import pork cuts from Europe to compensate for the decline from the United States. The import quota will be in force until Dec. 31.

The economy ministry also clarified that there will be a transition period for the U.S. pork tariffs for any shipments outside of the quota. Starting on June 5, the tariff on U.S. pork was set at 10 percent, and it will be raised to 20 percent on July 5.

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