Dems seek tariff relief for fishing industry

The Trump administration announced last week that it would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief funding for farmers whose businesses are suffering from an escalating trade war.

Now a group of Democratic U.S. representatives is pressing for similar emergency relief for the fishing industry, which is expecting a significant financial hit from a series of increasing export tariffs imposed by China.

H.R. 6528, introduced last Wednesday by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), would amend a provision in the Magnuson-Stevens Act that allows the federal government to provide funding to harvesters affected by natural or man-made disasters, such as hurricanes and oil spills. The bill would add cases of “unilateral tariffs imposed by other countries on any United States seafood” as events warranting emergency relief.

“Farmers haven’t been the only ones to suffer the consequences of the Trump administration’s sloppy trade actions. And while I’m glad that USDA will offer aid to agricultural producers, the government needs to step up for others who have been harmed — especially fishermen,” said co-sponsor Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). “In Maine, the lobster industry is reeling from a 25 percent retaliatory Chinese tariff that has essentially cut off our largest export market. While I continue to press the administration to restore stability to these and other trade markets, I’m proud to support this effort to provide fishermen relief in the short term. They don’t deserve to be victims of this self-imposed trade war.”

Other co-sponsors include Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), William Keating (D-Mass.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

There has been no statement from the White House on tariff relief for other industries.

About the author

Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill is associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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