An ad hoc coalition, which includes the National Pork Producers Council and 33 other food and agricultural organisations, have written to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging him to consider the consequences of actions he might recommend be taken against China over tires imported into the United States.
President Obama is expected to make by Sept. 17 a decision on the findings of a US International Trade Commission investigation of imports of certain car tires from China. The United Steelworkers filed a complaint with the ITC, claiming that a surge of Chinese tire imports had cost the union thousands of jobs. The ITC recommended a “safeguard action” of a 55 percent tariff on Chinese tires.
If the president accepts the ITC recommendation, the food and agricultural coalition is concerned that China will retaliate against US products. Pork and soybeans, for example, have been mentioned as candidates for retaliation.
“We ask that you consider the effect of likely retaliatory action against US food and agriculture products as you formulate your recommendations,” the coalition said in its letter. “Retaliatory actions by China against US food and agricultural products … would significantly affect US farmers, ranchers and food companies at a time when many are facing serious financial problems.”