US moves to protect lobster industry, threatens tariffs on China

Epoch Times

To this end, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum entitled "Protection of the Lobster Industry", where he opened the possibility of imposing new taxes on the Asian giant if Beijing does not fulfil its commitment to buy American goods, reports Efe news.

If China is found to have fallen short, the USTR "shall consider, to the extent permitted by law, taking all appropriate action to impose reciprocal retaliatory tariffs on seafood exports from China", the memorandum said. He was referring to $150 million in purchase commitments Beijing made under the so-called Phase 1 U.S.

The adviser added that Trump orders the US Department of Agriculture in the memo that the same lobster fishermen be provided with the same assistance that has been given to other sectors to protect them from Chinese levies.

In a celebratory tweet, trade adviser Peter Navarro - who was crowned the "lobster king" by Trump earlier this month for his role in negotiations with the European Union, which now imposes tariffs on American lobsters - paid tribute to the president, saying he was the real crustacean sovereign.

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After signing the memorandum, Trump took to Twitter to celebrate and take aim at President Obama, saying he "destroyed" the USA lobster industry.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) welcomed the decision and said it would make a huge difference for Maine lobstermen who had been hurt doubly by Chinese tariffs imposed in 2018 and the collapse of sales to restaurants during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Navarro also said the memorandum will require the U.S. Trade Representative's office to offer recommendations on how to address the loss of revenue caused by the trade deal between Canada and the European Union.

"This is definitely good news", he told Reuters. "This has been a tough summer for our lobstermen". This has been another point of contention for Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on European cars if the EU didn't drop its lobster tariff during a campaign event in Maine.

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