Farmers in the U.S. agricultural heartland that helped elect Donald Trump are now pushing his administration to avoid a trade dispute with Mexico, fearing retaliatory tariffs that could hit over $3 billion in U.S. exports.
Tariffs from Mexico could depress U.S. wholesale prices and wipe out profits, farmers say.
The value of exports at risk is based on a Reuters analysis of a tariff list which Mexico used in a trucking dispute six years ago and which Mexican officials have said could serve as a model if President Trump sets new barriers to Mexican goods.
Pork producers contacted Trump’s transition team soon after the Nov. 8 election to stress that tariff-free access to Mexico has made it their top export market by volume, said John Weber, president of the National Pork Producers Council.
The council has sent the administration multiple letters, including one signed in January by 133 agricultural organizations, and is arranging for several hog farmers to fly to Washington next month to talk to officials.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch