Chinese Tariffs Rock US Lobster Exports

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.”

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