Lobsterman: Canada Can't Satisfy EU Demand, Despite Competitive Advantage

May 18, 2017

One of Maine's major lobster fishermen's associations is waiting to see exactly how Canadian lobster processors will deal with Maine imports once a new trade deal between Canada and the 28-nation European Union is implemented.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the newly approved trade agreement between Canada and the EU eliminates tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the EU, giving Canada a competitive edge over Maine lobster exports, which will still be subjected to a tariff.

Mike Dassatt secretary-treasurer of the Downeast Lobstermen's Association, says Canada cannot satisfy the EU's demand for processed lobsters by itself and will have to continue purchasing branded Maine lobsters in order to satisfy the European market.

"As far as my opinion is concerned, yeah, it's going to take a little getting used to, trying to figure out the politics of it, but at the same time, Canada just can't handle the volume," he says.

Chantal Gagnon, spokeswoman for Canada's Office of the Minister of International Trade, says the tariffs will fall in the coming weeks.