The Hustle

Lobsters are finally out of the trade war steamer

An announcement from China has lobstermen breathing a sigh of relief. Lobsters, not so much.


February 27, 2020

Lobstermen around the US this week breathed a sigh of relief — lobsters themselves probably less so — after China announced that it would let businesses apply for tariff exemptions on the American crustaceans. 

The exemptions mean businesses could shell out less for Uncle Sam’s tails. As it turns out, China loves them:

China satisfied its lobster cravings by sliding into the DMs of a favorite sidepiece: Canada. Which, to be fair, boasts the same lobster species as Maine.

The market is clawing its way back to profitability

The news rounds out a prickly period in the lobster world, including a price crash in Florida and South Africa after the coronavirus forced China to cancel seafood imports. Those seafood bans are still in place.

But a Maine delegation finally made nice with China. Under the new exemptions, lobster tariffs could go as low as 7%.

That’s no small catch: The lobster industry contributes $1B to Maine’s economy.

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