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COLUMBIA – Missouri’s swine industry could be in trouble with China’s proposed tariff on pork in the United States.

Early on Tuesday morning, China unveiled its plan to potentially impose a 25 percent tariff on pork, pork products and recycled aluminum, in retaliation to President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products announced earlier this month.

China is the United States’ number one importer of swine products, where Missouri ranks sixth in the country for swine production. The state yielded 3 million heads of swine in 2016.

According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, hogs are one of the state’s highest agricultural commodities, bringing in 284 million dollars for the state.

Twenty-year veteran agriculture teacher at Centralia High School, Scott Stone said, “We’d be losing out on a share of our largest export market, which is obviously going to put a damper on our ability to sell that product.”  

Stone said not only would the tariff impact the Missouri swine industry financially, but remembers a time just thirty years earlier where similar economic stresses put several swine businesses out all throughout the state of Missouri.

Stone said not only does swine provide bacon and ham, but provides several by products, such as pig skins, hides and hair to make brushes, fats to use in skin care products and chewing gum. Stone also said swine provides insulin and artificial heart valves.