New tariffs impact local lobster industry

News

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – Two competing tariffs are having a negative impact on the local lobster industry. 

In retaliation to U.S. tariffs, China has doubled its tariffs on seafood. Those tariffs includes New England-sourced seafood.

In June, the Trump administration placed a 25% tariff on certain goods from China. They’ll be adding to those tariffs June 23.

To retaliate, China added a 25% tariff on a number of goods including live lobsters. At the same time, China has lowered the tariff on Canadian lobster imports to 7%.

The result: Chinese importers can now pay less for live lobsters from Canada and will have to pay more for live lobsters imported from the U.S.

Two members of the local lobster industry told Eyewitness News they are feeling the squeeze.

“We’re making less every year than we did years ago and now we get another something else hanging over our head,” lobster fisherman Steve Train said.

Lobster distributor Stephanie Nadeua expressed concern about the long term impacts of the policy.

“They’ve taken our business and I don’t know how we’ll ever get it back,” she said. “The longer this goes on the more difficult it will make it for us to resume our relationship with our customers.” 

It is expected that Maine, a key lobster fishing state, will also feel the impacts of these tariffs.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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