Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Mexico have only been on the books since Friday, but American pork farmers had already lost a considerable amount of money before that point according to data from Iowa State University.
Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the country, producing four times as much pork as their nearest competitor (North Carolina), and they had already lost $560 million as a result of Trump's budding trade war with Mexico before he implemented tariffs.
Growing trade worries have cut pork prices in recent weeks, costing Iowa producers about $560 million, said Dermot Hayes, an Iowa State University economist.
Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. pork, based on volume.
Mexico bought $1.5 billion of U.S. pork last year, followed by China-Hong Kong at nearly $1.1 billion.
The tariffs are "potentially devastating news for Iowa’s pig farmers and the rural Iowa economy," said Gregg Hora, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Mexico has retaliated for Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum by imposing their own tariffs on American pork, meaning these numbers are about to get a whole lot worse.
This should not be confused with the $2.2 billion the pork industry has already lost as a result of Trump's trade war with China.
As someone who has eaten pork ribs and pork roast half a dozen times in recent weeks, I can attest to pork prices being extraordinarily cheap. And everyone loves cheap meat, but there's a hidden cost that you don't see at the grocery store and reduced prices will only be temporary as pork producers cut jobs and farm fewer pigs moving forward as a result of Trump's trade war.