Oklahoma pork industry 'concerned' that tariffs could threaten $208 million in exports
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Oklahoma's pork industry is "concerned" about the possible impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products.

Roughly $208 million worth of Oklahoma's exports to Canada, Mexico, China and Europe are reportedly at risk, according to an U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis released earlier this month.

Nearly 401,000 jobs in the state that are supported by trade may also be at risk, the Chamber said. The state’s exports of meat — primarily pork — as well as iron and steel pipes and cotton will be hardest hit.


“We're certainly concerned,” the executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, Roy Lee Lindsey, told Oklahoma's NewsOK.

“We are an industry that's growing ... rapidly, not just here in Oklahoma but across the country. And that growth is all predicated on exports,” Lindsey said. The newspaper noted that pork farmers exported 27.5 percent of their product in May.

“The administration has told us, the president has said repeatedly that he's going to take care of our farmers and ranchers,” Lindsey continued. “We're going to believe him, and we're going to hold him to that. But the longer this goes on, the harder it gets.” 

The tariffs on imported steel also impact the oil and gas industry in the state.

Chad Warmington, president of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association, also told the publication that he predicts the president’s trade war will impede the development and the conversion of natural gas to petrochemicals, which are also then exported. 

“It's going to make it harder for us to one, produce, and then two, export,” Warmington said. “And then on top of that, we have the potential viability of a tariff being levied on the importation of our crude into other countries like China.” 

Warmington said there is a “big potential loss of a market” in Oklahoma due to the trade war, as one-fifth of U.S. exports are shipped to China. 

“We just hope that the uncertainty doesn't carry on for too much longer,” Warmington said. “When we're in a cycle like we are now where there's a significant uptick in exploration and production, anything that slows that down is not good for Oklahoma. So every well that doesn't get drilled or any pipeline infrastructure that gets delayed, that might be a loss to Oklahoma for years to come.”

Earlier this month, China accused Trump of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history” by slapping billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.

In response, Chinese officials announced that retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods would immediately go into effect on American exports like soybeans, seafood, SUVs and crude oil.

Trump, in turn, threatened another set of tariffs, on $16 billion in Chinese exports, to go into effect later this month.

--Updated 10:55 a.m.