Trade

Trump Has Destroyed Exports of American Lobster

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If there's one thing America's soybean farmers and lobstermen have in common, it's that Trump has cut off access to their biggest foreign market and destroyed their exports as a result.

While exports of American soybeans have declined by over 80 percent, exports of American lobster have also declined by over 80 percent according to the Associated Press.

And as you might imagine, our loss has been someone else's gain.

Meanwhile, business is booming in Canada, where cargo planes are coming to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, to handle a growing bump in exports. Canadian fishermen catch the same species of lobster as American lobstermen, who are based mostly in Maine.

America has exported less than 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of lobster to China this year through June, according to data from the U.S. federal government. The country exported nearly 12 million pounds during that same period last year. That’s a more than 80% drop. [...]

The value of Canada’s exports was nearing $200 million in U.S. dollars through June and was almost sure to outstrip last year’s total of more than $223 million. America’s exports through June were valued at less than $19 million, more than $70 million behind where they were through June 2018.

Industry representatives who spoke to the Associated Press say losing access to the Chinese market is a significant blow because it's the largest consumer market in the world. They say making up for the loss, if they even can, will require development of a significant number of new markets.

One of the most important jobs of the next presidential administration will be to export good will, not soybeans or lobster. It's going to take a herculean effort to convince the world that we're open for business again. It will take effort to convince the world that we can be reliable business partners.

Those who wonder why former Vice President Joe Biden remains the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination should consider just how much our systems and institutions rely on stability and normalcy and how attractive a return to normalcy is for many Americans even if normal also means flawed.

  • borehead

    First things first. The writer, a Jim Acosta wannabe, is from lobster country, and every article contains climate change caveats that are not accurate. As far as this tariff stuff. Lobstermen are not complaining, and are supporting Trump in the trade war. They say its their patriotic duty. What was written was for the benefit of the dealers that control prices paid to lobstermen, and tariffs aren’t usually why prices drop! This is purely political dogma with lobstermen being used as pawns to make Trump look bad. A Chinese deal was announced today. Just as soon as those lobstermen complain and change their mind, I will too.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump couldn’t do a more effective job of destroying entire sectors of the US economy if he deliberately tried.

    And yes, I’m actually giving the old grifter the benefit of the doubt there. (“Hanlon’s Razor”: Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.)

    I hope those soon-to-be-out-of-business lobstermen are enjoying the liberal tears Trump is providing them.

    –alopecia