U.S. Govt. Hits China Seafood With 10% Tariffs

Earlier this week, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released a list of $200 billion worth of goods from China that will now be subjected to a new 10 percent tax. 

Although the long list features consumer goods like apparel and handbags, nine pages of the list are dedicated to a variety of seafood, including trout, halibut, salmon, tuna, caviar, and much more.

Prior to this recent decision by the U.S. government, China put a 25 percent tax on U.S. seafood in last August.

This has had an impact on American lobster imports, in particular. In 2016, China imported $142.4 million from the American lobster industry. 

"Anything that affects the supply chain is obviously not a great thing," said Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association. "The lobstermen obviously are concerned with trade and where they go."

Although the U.S. exported $1.3 billion in American seafood to China in 2017 the U.S. imported $2.7 billion in Chinese seafood in the same year. 

The U.S. seafood trade deficit is about $11 billion, which has been frustrating for lawmakers. 

“I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish,” said Wilbur Ross, U.S. commerce secretary to Congress in March, as reported by "SeafoodSource."

"The US’s seafood trade deficit with China stands at roughly $1.5 billion. The Canada-US seafood deficit is bigger, at about $2.3 billion," writes "Quartz." "China exported $2.7 billion in seafood to the US in 2017, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, while importing about $1.2 billion. The US imports tons of frozen shrimp, frozen fish fillets, tuna, canned bonito, crabmeat—and even some $7 million of Chinese caviar."

Read more about the new tariffs on China seafood at "Quartz."