A Surprising Way the Trade War with China is Hurting U.S. Pet Food Manufacturers



A recent report from The New York Times revealed that American pet food manufacturers are suffering in the current trade war between China and the United States. While American-made pet food has becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., many may not realize that it is also in high demand in China. With China imposing high tariffs on pet food imported from the U.S. and delaying food shipments at customs, American manufacturers are at risk of losing their Chinese customers. 


Like many American pet owners, Chinese customers are concerned that pet food produced in China is unsafe. Multiple scandals in which Chinese pet food was made from harmful ingredients and caused death or illness have left their mark and made many suspicious. Similar to their American counterparts, Chinese pet owners only want the best for their furry friends and for many, this means buying pet food that’s made in the USA.


Pet ownership and spending are both rapidly increasing in China—a white paper released by Pet Fair Asia predicted a 27 percent surge in spending from 2017 to 2018 and estimated that China’s total pet expenditures would be $25 billion by the end of 2018. The country’s pet population also comes in at 51 million dogs and 41 million cats. By raising tariffs and making imports more difficult for American manufacturers, China is limiting access to its valuable pet market.


Luckily, the growing popularity of American-made pet food in the United States can serve as a cushion for domestic manufacturers. Our November issue explores how the made in the USA trend encompasses not only food, but other items as well. With patriotism perpetuating sales, hopefully the trade war won’t have too significant of an impact on the pet industry’s profitability.


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