WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King is pressing the Trump administration to increase aid to lobstermen impacted by retaliatory tariffs from China.
Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to provide financial assistance to members of the lobster industry — about 80 percent of which is based in Maine — who “continue to be harmed by China’s retaliatory tariffs” on U.S. lobster imports.
In a letter to Perdue Friday, Sen. King urged the USDA to follow through on that promise, and to seek input from industry members on any aid package.
“To date, the USDA has provided relief to American farmers and ranchers that have been affected by China’s retaliatory tariffs, but have not provided such relief to the lobster industry, which is an integral part of my state’s economy,” King wrote. “Maine lobstermen are small business owners who support both our treasured working waterfronts and the livelihoods of 10,000 additional Mainers. China’s retaliatory tariffs, coupled with the ongoing impact of the global pandemic, have left the lobster industry in an extremely fragile economic state.”
He also urged “a robust effort to connect with representatives of all segments of the lobster industry in Maine, as well as state and regional regulators. Only in that way can we be sure the best possible data and perspectives are guiding this long–awaited help from the federal government.”