Maine Lobstermen To Get Federal Relief After Lost Revenue From Tariff Dispute

Sep 9, 2020

Maine lobstermen will get a share of $530 million in federal relief for the U.S. Seafood industry, which has been hurt by the trade dispute with China. China, at one point, raised tariffs on American lobster to 32 percent, significantly reducing Maine's exports there.

In her statement, Executive Director Patrice McCarron says, "The MLA is grateful for the Trump administration's leadership and for the tremendous long-standing support of Maine's Congressional delegation to address unfair trade practices which have hurt the U.S. seafood industry."
Credit Fred Bever / Maine Public

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Maine Lobstermen's Association says it is pleased to learn about the relief and that, while Maine's lobstermen did not create the trade issues, they have had to bear the consequences.

Under the program, licensed commercial fishermen will receive direct financial assistance. Payment rates are being calculated using the USDA's assessment of the expected trade damage in 2019 for each species.

The Portland Press Herald is reporting that fishermen can net 50 cents for every pound of lobster brought to market last year, which could amount to $50 Million for Maine lobstermen.

Applications may be submitted to a producer's local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center for 3 months, beginning Monday, September 14.

Lobster is one of 16 seafoods eligible to receive funding.