The Impact of the Amino Acids Industry on the U.S. Economy
13 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 27, 2021
Until late 2018, most of China’s amino acid sales occurred in Asia. However, after the African Swine Fever led to the destruction of nearly half of China’s pig population, China's subsidized amino acid industry turned to the United States to sell their products.
In 2019, the total U.S. imports of Lysine — a key amino acid — from China tripled over a four-month period, and a year later it doubled again. While China’s pig population almost recovered, U.S. sales of amino acids imported from China remain elevated, especially for threonine, which is typically used for pigs and poultry. China has already established global dominance in threonine, with over 85% of global capacity for this important amino acid.
Left unchecked, Chinese domination of key sectors of the U.S.’s amino acids industry would severely damage U.S. production. We estimate that the demise of critical sectors of the U.S. amino acid industry would destroy nearly 30,000 jobs of people in the U.S. who are either involved in amino acid production or have a direct or indirect connection to its production. It would also reduce domestic economic activity by $15 billion a year, with tax revenues at the federal, state and local levels reduced by nearly $9 billion over the next ten years.
These trends have created the potential for Chinese manipulation of the markets for these key inputs, which could result in reduced choice for producers and food security issues for U.S. consumers.
Keywords: Amino Acids, threonine, dumping, hogs, African Swine Fever
JEL Classification: Q17, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation