Retaliatory Tariffs Target American Seafood

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

In addition to previously announced measures targeting American pork, soybeans, beef, and sorghum among many other things, China announced new retaliatory measures on Friday against American seafood.

The new duties will hit the fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest stretching Oregon to Alaska with Alaska likely taking the biggest hit.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

The products covered by the tariffs include frozen pollock, cod, pink and sockeye salmon, snow and Dungeness crab and herring, according to, an industry publication that put the dollar value of Alaska exports to China at more than $750 million in 2017.

Some Northwest exports, such as geoducks, also are included in the tariffs announced Friday. [...]

“This is the biggest market in the world, and to have the U.S. at a disadvantage to every competitor is a big deal,” said Jim Gilmore, public affairs director for the Seattle-based At-Sea Processors Association, which represents six companies that catch and process pollock off Alaska.

While Alaska is expected to lose more than $750 million in exports, the whole Pacific Northwest seafood industry is expect to lose closer to $1 billion.

If China's retaliatory measures against American agriculture centered in the Midwest were shrewd, we'd have to say same thing about their measures against the Alaskan industry. Alaska typically elects Republicans and the state has a lot of pull both in Congress and at the Commerce and Interior departments.

None of that will matter, however, if Republicans in Congress are too cowardly to stop Trump from harming their own constituents.

Chinese leadership must find all of this baffling.

  • It occurred to me this morning that the economic effects of all of Trump’s stupidity are probably going to turn the economy next year, AFTER the Democrats take Congress and try to pass legislation to course correct, thus providing the Republicans with their usual scapegoat. And of course Republican voters will believe them when they blame Democrats for the recession.

  • Draxiar

    Making America Great Again one terrible decision after another.

  • Aynwrong

    All of this is very baffling unless you understand the Republican party. It’s a cult.

  • muselet

    Clearly, Chinese officials have given far more thought to trade policy than have current US officials. It wouldn’t surprise me if China had a continuously-updated master list of possible retaliatory tariffs with every other political entity on the planet, while it would surprise me if anyone in the Trump administration could define a tariff.

    Sadly, not only will congressional Rs not stand up to Donald Trump, but their own constituents would punish them for doing so (and then blame Ds for their woes).

    Chinese leadership must find all of this baffling.

    They’re not the only ones.