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."

Check out the recent The Barron Report episode below where host Paul Barron talks about the trade war with China and its impact on the foodservice industry.