Maine exporters saw a 4% increase last year, but wonder about lost potential

Trade tensions and tariffs between the United States and key trading partners blunted what may have been a banner year for Maine exports.

The state shipped $2.8 billion worth of commodities and manufactured goods overseas in 2018, a 4 percent bump from the year before, but less than in 2016, according to federal data.

Last year was a modest gain for the state, especially amid worsening trade conditions between the U.S. and countries such as China and Canada, said Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center. “Four percent is a good, solid year for us,” he said.

But the final result is a far cry from where Maine started out.

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