Maine’s U.S. congressional delegation is working to ensure that U.S. trade representatives will protect the Maine lobster industry from future tariff wars.
Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin are meeting with trade representatives Friday in Portland to discuss the European Union’s recent tariff break for importing Canadian lobster.
"This trade agreement puts Maine lobster at a huge competitive disadvantatge - from 8 percent to 20 percent, depending on whether we're talking about fresh lobster or frozen lobster," Collins said, at a Portland news conference.
The discussions Friday are also expected to include protecting Maine’s lobster export interests to China.
The four lawmakers said they had no specific plan to protect the industry but would spend some of the day introducing trade representatives to different parts of it to highlight its importance to the Maine economy.
Their concern comes a day after President Trump imposed steep tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico, renewing fears of a trade war.