December 13, 2018
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Maine lobster industry looks to grow US market while tariffs drive down demand overseas

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 photo, Kyle Bruns packs a live lobster for shipment to Hong Kong at The Lobster Company in Arundel, Maine. China is a major buyer of lobsters, and the country imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. say their business in China has dried up since then.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Members of Maine’s lobster industry are looking to shift their focus to growing domestic markets as new tariffs make it more difficult to sell to foreign buyers such as China.

Leaders of the industry came together in a Wednesday meeting in Rockland. The Portland Press Herald reports members of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative say it’s more important than ever to sell more lobsters to Americans.

China placed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. lobsters earlier this summer, making it much more difficult for American seafood dealers to sell to that country. The European Union also has a relatively new trade deal with Canada that puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage there.

Maine Lobster Dealers Association director Annie Tselikis says there is “tons of opportunity” to grow domestic markets.

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