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All eyes are on the lobster trade.

Need to Maintain Appearances

That Trump is worried if China is buying a few containers of lobsters so he can keep up appearances for the market, instead of solving for a crisis at home that will be soon killing thousands a day again, speaks volumes.

Maine’s Lobster Exports to China plunge 84%

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Flashback May 16, 2019: Maine’s lobster exports to China plunge 84 percent due to trade war.

The tariffs, implemented in July 2018, had an immediate affect on the state’s lobster industry. Prior to the tariffs, Maine had been on track to have a record-setting year, with USD 87 million (EUR 77.8 million) worth of lobster exported through June 2018, over double the USD 42 million (EUR 37.5 million) shipped through the same period in 2017.

Soon after tariffs were implemented, however, Maine’s exports to China nearly disappeared completely, and according to the latest data from the MITC exports have plunged nearly 84 percent since the tariffs were implemented.

The latest talk on the trade front doesn’t point to any improvement in those numbers any time soon. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened and then implemented further tariff increases on 10 May. In response, China fired back with its own increased tariffs, including additional tariffs on a number of seafood products.

Despite the threat of escalation, for many lobster exporters, the damage has already been done. Whether the tariffs increase or not, most of the business had already dried up.

Reflections on the All Important Lobster Trade

With hundreds of billions of dollars of government stimulus sloshing around, Trump is now extremely worried over an $87 million lobster loss that was entirely of his own making.