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Chinese merchants fear Trump’s trade war is hurting a popular snack: Pig feet
- Aug 17, 2018 -

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Glazed pork, a local delicacy, is offered a shop in Zhujiajiao, China, a semi-preserved historical town and a popular tourist destination on the outskirts of Shanghai, on July 31. (Qilai Shen/For The Washington Post)

ZHUJIAJIAO, China — The cost of pig feet was climbing, and Xu Min wondered: Had the trade war reached her market stall?

The 29-year-old mother of two sells every part of the hog in a town known for braised hoofs, a classic snack here called trotters. She carves the meat for local vendors, who slather the feet in soy sauce and hawk them along a nearby canal for as little as 15 yuan, or about $2. 

Geopolitical sparring does not come up often at this market of fresh cuts, watermelon crates and crabs wriggling in plastic bags, Xu said, but lately she and other merchants have swapped grim predictions about the commercial fight between the United States and China. 

“Importing less American pork will bring up the prices,” the butcher said, frowning behind her bloodstained counter. “Fewer people will be buying — a bad effect.”

The first signs of trouble from President Trump’s tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods — and Beijing’s retaliatory levies on an equal amount of U.S. imports, including pork and soybeans — are just emerging in both countries, where some workers are bracing for economic turmoil.

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