Maine sucked into trade war

To the Editor:

The “trade war” between China and the U.S. has become a tremendous problem and threat to many industries that depend on exports for a big chunk of their revenues. I fully understand that because of abuses relating to unfair trade practices and theft of technologies vital not only to our economy, but first and foremost to our national security, the trade gauntlet needed to be thrown down.

Unfortunately, Maine has been sucked into this mess. I know that the technology used for “banding lobster claws” cannot fall into the hands of foreign countries due to homeland security concerns.

EU countries targeted in this trade war may also retaliate on Maine’s seafood exports. So where does that leave Maine’s noble lobster fishing industry and the communities that depend on it to survive?

Between this “trade war,” whale entanglement issues and a few other whoppers, our lobster industry is in very dire straits.

I don’t know about you, but aside from a few blurbs in the local news we’re not hearing much. I know that organizations like the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), The Downeast Lobstermen’s Association, and Maine Lobstermen’s Union are working diligently to protect our industry but this should be an issue in the headlines more often.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the media cliché “when it bleeds it leads.” Well, we’re bleeding.

There’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark from updates addressing such a vital issue for those who stand to lose their livelihoods.

For those in the “information loop” it’s everyday business because “they are in the loop,” but for the rest of the fishing community, it’s nail biting time.

Perhaps our Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, Maine Lobster Dealers Association, MLA, DELA and state and federal representatives could hold a televised forum to address these issues affecting Maine’s second largest economic engine.

These politicians and organizations are, I’m sure, proactive in trying to find solutions to help our industry make it through these troubling times, but we need to hear more about it. Our lumber and dairy industries are in the same predicament, as well as several others, so perhaps they can add their similar concerns to this conversation.

Just a thought.

John Nicolai


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