Watch: the US lobster industry is feeling the pinch as China retaliates in the trade war
- China imposed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on US lobsters, during peak season, in response to US president Donald Trump’s trade war.
- The state of Maine’s $1.5 billion lobster industry is now feeling the pinch as a key source of revenue dries up.
The US state of Maine is feeling the effects of US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.
On July 5, China imposed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on US lobsters, during peak season. Maine’s $1.5 billion (R28.8 billion) lobster industry is now feeling the pinch as revenue dries up in favour of cheaper local produce in China.
Before China levied its lobster tariff, it was on pace to double its lobster imports this year, with US export data showing year-to-date sales of $75.3 million through June compared with $34.2 million over that same period in 2017.
Stephanie Nadeau, a live lobster dealer from The Lobster Co, was selling R1.45 million of lobster to China every day, with a customer base that took 20 years to build. They would export between 2.2 – 3.1 tonnes a day, seven days a week.
China accounted for 30% of the company’s sales.
“We may survive this year, but we will not survive next year,” said Nadeau
She estimates that the tariffs will cost her company $10 million in 2018 sales.
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