Wondering how the trade war with China is going? It’s not just impacting the U.S. farming or industrial sectors, it is hitting the fishing industry hard as well. Let’s take a closer look at the China tariffs and how consumers could be feeling the pinch as well next time they purchase seafood.
What is the China Tariff?
BBC News reports that the US-China trade war has been in full swing for the past year. U.S. President Donald Trump has long accused China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft. In China, there is a perception that the US is trying to curb its rise, especially when it comes to dominating the world trade industry.
In order to encourage consumers to buy American, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs aimed at making imported goods more expensive. So far, the US has imposed tariffs on more than $360bn (£296bn) Chinese goods, and China has retaliated with tariffs on more than $110bn of US products.
The administration in Washington delivered three rounds of tariffs last year, and a fourth one in September. The latest round targeted Chinese imports, from meat to musical instruments, with a 15% duty. Beijing has hit back with tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on US goods. Both sides have threatened to take more action with new tariffs and hikes to existing duties in the coming months.
How Does the Fishing Industry Factor In?
According to the Cordoba Times of Alaska, the fishing industry has been hit hard from this tariff war between the Chinese and Americans. The Cordoba states that “China had been Alaska’s biggest seafood buyer purchasing 54 percent of seafood exports in 2017 valued at close to $1 billion.” The weaker demand for Alaskan seafood is being blamed on the tariff war which is, in turn, passed on to consumers. This is a frightening scenario for fishermen who depend upon this trade for their livelihood.
Some of the economic statistics about the sale and trade of seafood between the two competitors are also alarming. Over the past year, China imported $136 million of Pacific salmon, down 56 percent, and reflecting a 62 percent drop in volume. Imports of frozen cod decreased to 53 million pounds valued at $91 million, both down 37 percent. The 25 percent tax also pushed the US from China’s second-largest seafood supplier to fourth place, behind Russia, Ecuador, and Canada.
In general, the 25 percent retaliatory tariff imposed by China on US imports last July caused a 36 percent drop in US seafood sales that were valued at $340 million, according to an in-depth analysis of Chinese customs data by Undercurrent News.
How long can American fishermen survive on the tariff reduced life they are forced into? We will continue to follow this developing story and report how these tariffs are impacting our fishing industry here and around the globe. Follow us on social media or contact us on our site.