In trade war with Canada Maine mostly got off easy

As retaliatory tariffs go in place, the highly integrated economies between the neighbors insulate most companies from ill effects.

Maine will escape the first round of a trade war with Canada with a glancing blow.

Roughly $67 million worth of Maine products will be exposed to retaliatory Canadian tariffs set to go into effect July 1, in response to import taxes on steel and aluminum from the Trump administration.

That accounts for less than 6 percent of Maine’s total export value to Canada in 2017 and places Maine among the states least affected by the bilateral trade war.

Even though Canada’s countermeasures cover a spectrum of Maine-made goods, such as boats, salad dressing, greeting cards, prepared chicken and maple syrup, they spare much more critical commodities such as lobster and lumber used by industries that straddle the Maine-Canada border.

And that intimate economic relationship between Maine and its northern neighbor could insulate the state from a deeper trade dispute, according to experts.

“I would say we largely got off easy,” said Wade Merritt, director of the Maine International Trade Center. “This to me looks like we are sort of collateral damage to measures taken against other parts of the country.”

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