Fishermen Say Canada-EU Trade Deal Would Hurt Maine’s Lobster Industry

Some Maine fishermen say that they’ve always been at a disadvantage when trying to compete with their Canadian counterparts. Now, the Maine lobster industry is weighing a pending trade agreement between Canada and the European Union that could adversely affect lobster prices in Maine.

It’s been a touchy subject Down East for years.

“Canada has always put the screws to the United States fisherman — they don’t have the regulations that we do,” says Colby Young, a recently retired lobster fisherman from Corea.

Young says that the pending trade deal between Canada and the European Union is the latest example of a marketing system that has given Canadian fishermen an edge.

Known as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, the new partnership would remove the 8 percent tariff on live lobsters for Canada, but the fee would remain on for the United States. With the added advantage of a current exchange rate that makes the Canadian dollar worth about 75 cents American, the Canadian lobster should be attractive to the European market.

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