28 February 2019 – President Donald Trump has announced a delay for possible tariff hikes on Chinese exports to the US, pushing back the March 1 deadline in order to give the two countries more time to reach a trade deal.

The US feed additive sector has welcomed the delay as positive news but warns that hopes must not be too high as trade solutions still have to be worked out.

Gina Tumbarello, AFIA’s director of international policy and trade, told Feedinfo News Service: “AFIA is pleased to see forward movement in trade talks with China, as the country represents the fourth largest export destination for U.S. animal food, at a value worth roughly $780 million in 2017. Should the tariffs continue to escalate past this week’s deadline, it could have potentially impacted vitamin imports, which are critical to the healthy growth of America’s livestock and pets.”

“While this progress is encouraging, we aren’t at the finish line yet, and will continue to work with our members to call upon the administration to seek a trade solution that satisfies both U.S. national security and agricultural interests,” Tumbarello added.

Reacting to Tumbarello’s comment about Chinese vitamins, US feed additive traders who import vitamins also have their fingers crossed for a favorable outcome.

Alan Gunderson, Vice-President at Vitaplus, said: “Vita Plus is encouraged to hear of continuing progress of the US/China trade talks to resolve the issues. A positive outcome is very important to our operations. Our business, and our customers businesses, needs fair trade in order to provide the maximum value possible with ingredient sources from bio-secure, world class manufacturers from around the world, wherever they happen to be located.”

Another US-based distributor of Chinese vitamins added: “Given the fact that there is almost zero domestic vitamin production in US, one would assume that vitamins would be left off any future tariff increase. If the Trump administration decides to punish the Chinese with across-the-board tariff increases on everything coming from China, it just means price increases for the US consumer.”