Maine's lobster exports to China drop dramatically affected by trade war

The U.S. state Maine's lobster exports to China have decreased by 84 percent in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war, data from Maine International Trade Center (MITC) showed.

China's additional tariffs for 545 items worth about 34 billion U.S. dollars, which was effective from July 6, 2018, covered a wide range of products including farm produce, vehicles and aquatic products.

The tariffs hit the lobster industry of Maine whose trade with China is particularly important.

In 2018, Maine exported 204 million U.S. dollars worth of goods to China, second only to Canada's exports of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, according to Census Bureau statistics.

Canadian lobstermen, therefore, took the advantages in the tit-for tat trade row as Chinese demand for lobster from Canada has increased.

Last year, Canada shipped lobsters valued at 192 million U.S. dollars to China, up from 129 million U.S. dollars in 2017, according to Statistics Canada. In July alone, the shipments of Canadian lobster to China nearly doubled to 1.25 million kilograms, the highest level in six years.

U.S. farmers and ranchers also expressed concerns on China's retaliatory tariffs given the decline of commodity prices and market loss. U.S. soybean exports to China, for example, dropped by 89 percent over the past year.

A public hearing on more tariffs is being held in Washington, starting from June 17, but U.S. businesses have sent messages to President Trump that additional tariffs would drive up prices for consumers.

Read more:

With Maine lobsters missing from Chinese dining tables, who is suffering?