Category Archives: Uncategorized

Impact of new Chinese tariffs still being tallied for Maine

Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center, says Maine businesses were so surprised Monday by tariffs announced by China that they are still figuring out the repercussions.

“The consensus seemed to have been that we were expecting a deal to resolve the (trade) issues that had arisen last year. The deal was imminent until it wasn’t,” Merritt said Tuesday. “To be totally honest, we’re still trying to get our heads wrapped around what it means.”

Maine exported $204 million in goods to China last year, according to the U.S. Census, making the country the state’s second-largest trade partner. China, however, is well behind Canada, to which Maine exported $1.4 billion in goods in 2018.

Read full article in Sun Journal

Maine lobster exports plunge 84% since 2018 tariffs

It’s been 11 months since the first round of Chinese tariffs were announced and the Maine International Trade Center now released tangible numbers on the impact.

President Wade Merritt says through the first quarter of the year Maine’s exports to China were down 51% and that’s not including Monday’s announcement by China, retaliating with even more tariffs on 60 billion dollars worth of U.S. goods.

Watch on News Center Maine

Maine entrepreneurs show off innovative products

Seven Maine companies are one step closer to being named “best in show” at this year’s Trade Day. Tuesday, those entrepreneurs met with students from Baxter Academy in Portland, to show off their innovative products. This year’s theme is “Maine’s Future in the Global Bio-Economy.”

Members of the Maine International Trade Center say these companies have created products made from renewable resources that are ready to compete in the global market.

View on WGME

Innovative products on display ahead of Maine International Trade Day

Students had a sneak peak at some of Maine’s most innovative products Tuesday morning in Portland.

About 20 Students from Baxter Academy listened to pitches from seven companies in Maine. The businesses and products have been narrowed down all over Maine because each one might have global potential.

View story on News Center Maine


Cerahelix, Ocean’s Balance among 7 companies to be featured at MITC’s ‘Global Showcase’

Maine International Trade Center announced today the seven Maine companies with innovative products that have been selected for this year’s New Products Global Showcase.

MITC said in a news release that the seven companies, whose products have demonstrated success in the United States and are prepared to compete in the global market, will compete for “Best in Show” honors at Trade Day 2019 next month.

A special sneak peek event will be held Tuesday, April 30, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Portland/Waterfront, at 321 Commercial St.

“The seven companies selected this year have proven track records and successes in domestic markets and are poised for growth,” MITC President Wade Merritt said. “We’re excited to present their innovative and proprietary products, which our jury deemed ready for global markets, to an international audience at Trade Day 2019.”

Read full article on Mainebiz

Maine dealers anxious to restore lobster trade

Although “gut-punched” by a U.S.-China trade war, most Maine lobster dealers would try to recapture the China market if ongoing trade talks prove successful.

“What happens if China tariffs disappear tomorrow? I think you see a bunch of lobster companies from the United States board planes and go to China to rebuild the relationships they had with their Chinese customers,” said Annie Tselikis, director of the Maine Lobster Dealers Association. “Some may shift their practice and refocus their efforts, but … I think everybody is going to do as much as they possibly can to regain their business there.”

Chinese importers would welcome them back, too, happy to be rid of the high prices, seasonal shortages and logistical headaches of buying just Canadian lobster.

“Eventually, I think China and the U.S. should get along,” said Helen Gao, the head international buyer for Gfresh, China’s leading online seafood wholesaler. “We are the two biggest economies in the world. We should have a better trade relationship. … Right now there may be some pain, not just for U.S. suppliers, but for us, as well, because we only import seafood and U.S. is our biggest source region. We just have to hang in there.”

Read full article on Portland Press Herald

Paper company expands operations in US

A Chinese paper company is using its investments in American properties that employ more than 1,000 as part of its global expansion strategy.

Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd, the largest container board producer in China, which operates three pulp and paper mills in the US and plans to open a fourth this summer, was honored by the Maine International Trade Center with its Foreign Direct Investment of the Year award Tuesday.

“They are one of the largest players (in China) and one of the largest — three or four (paper) companies — in the world,” said William Moore of Moore & Associates, an Atlanta-based paper recycling consulting firm. He added that Nine Dragons is a publicly traded company with a stock listing on the Hong Kong exchange.

ND Paper, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper Holdings, officially began in June 2018 with the purchase of North American pulp/paper mills in Rumford, Maine, and Biron, Wisconsin. The company later acquired a mill in Fairmount, West Virginia, according to Brian Boland, vice-president of government affairs and corporate initiatives at the company.

“Nine Dragons has aspirations to be a global company, and [the investments help] us to expand into a stable and mature market,” Boland said. The American investments also enable the company to diversify its supply chain, he added.

Last fall the company announced $300 million in strategic investments in the Maine and Wisconsin mills. Shortly after that, ND Paper unveiled the purchase of a shuttered mill in Old Town, Maine, that is expected to reopen this summer.

Boland said the company employs about 650 at the Rumford mill, 350 in Wisconsin and 130 when the Old Town mill resumes operations.

“We appreciate the investment by Nine Dragon Paper in Rumford and Old Town. We look forward to a long-term partnership that supports and grows the forest products industry and its workers,” said Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Maine Economic and Community Development department.

Read full article on China Daily

Maine trade association honors three companies

Three Maine companies and one educational institution were recognized by the state’s trade association for their growth in global markets.

Maine International Trade Center annually recognizes companies that are growing exports. Last year, 2,087 Maine companies exported $2.8 billion in goods and services to 169 countries. The state’s top exports are seafood, semiconductors, aircraft parts and forest products.

Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn and Mechanic Falls won exporter of the year. The award recognizes a manufacturer that has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to international trade through increased exports. The company makes heat resistant textiles, such as fabrics, ropes, woven tapes, blankets and pads that can withstand high heat to the point of being fire resistant. Exports account for 25-30 percent of its sales.

In 2017, CEO Kathie Leonard filed a petition claiming Chinese manufacturers were dumping large amounts of unfairly subsidized heat resistant fabric into the U.S. market and won. The favorable ruling placed a 200-300 percent duty on the Chinese products. Leonard said they are slowly gaining back lost business and looking forward to adding more employees to the 52 who currently work at the company.

Read full article in Portland Press Herald

Auburn Manufacturing, Luke’s Lobster among MITC award winners

Auburn Manufacturing, Luke’s Lobster Seafood Co. and Thornton Academy are among the 2019 International Trade and Investment Awards honorees, unveiled by the Maine International Trade Center on Tuesday.

The three, along with ND Paper/Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd., a Chinese-owned investor in mills in Rumford and Old Town, are being recognized for their commitment to growth in international markets.

Last year, 2,087 Maine companies exported $2.7 billion in goods and services to 169 countries. Top exports are seafood, semiconductors, aircraft parts and forest products.

Auburn Manufacturing, led by 2018 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year honoree Kathie Leonard, was named Exporter of the Year, awarded to a manufacturer that has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to international trade through increased exports.

The maker of heat-resistant textiles has plants in Mechanic Falls and Auburn.

“Not everyone is going to work in IT or science,” Leonard said in a news release announcing the awards. “Manufacturing jobs are good jobs. They pay a living wage with good benefits, and we need that for a lot of people in this country.”

Read full article in Mainebiz