Diversification…is key, says Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center, and director of international trade for the state of Maine. He points to Maine Coast as a good example of the dramatic impact of Chinese tariffs on the industry, and a good example of their logical response.
We were up about 170% from January to June of 2018 — that was prior to the tariffs,” he said. “But by the end of the year, Maine’s exports of live lobster to China had actually declined by almost 7%. So we gave up a lot of ground in a very short amount of time in those six months.”
As for overall exports of live lobster to China from Maine, Merritt said they are down 82% between 2018 and 2019. “So it has had a significant impact on that industry.”