The Free Press quotes Bayer in article on tariffs, lobster industry

The Free Press quoted Robert Bayer, the director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, in an article about tariffs from China and their effects on the lobster industry. The Chinese tariff on Canadian lobster is 7 percent, while the corresponding tariff on U.S. lobster is 40 percent for live lobster and 35 percent for processed lobster, the article states. The tariff was put in place in June as a response to President Donald Trump’s tariff on Chinese products, but has not yet had significant impact on the industry. The article estimates no more than 10 Maine lobster dealers have deals with China, but that those are the result of significant investment efforts. These deals could suffer if China turns to other countries for cheaper lobster imports. Lobster harvesters are also affected by tariffs on steel, since lobster traps are made of steel wire. Bayer said the largest potential impact of the tariffs on Maine lobster dealers will be on live lobsters shipped abroad, but that it is impossible to know for sure until the end of summer, when dealers have final sales numbers. “We’re at a real competitive disadvantage,” said Bayer.