WASHINGTON (Reuters) – u.s. president Donald Trump has signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at protecting the lobster fishers americans who have seen a drying up of export markets, said Wednesday, a White House adviser called the ” king lobster “, adding that China could face new charges.
“If these purchase commitments are not met, the us trade representative has received the order to use its discretionary power to impose … tariffs, reciprocal to the chinese industry of fruit of the sea “, said the commercial counsellor Peter Navarro journalists. He was referring to purchase commitments of $ 150 million taken by Beijing in the framework of what is called the trade agreement between China and the phase 1.
In the memorandum, Trump has also asked the u.s. department of Agriculture to provide the fishermen of lobster the same type of assistance than other sectors of the agricultural sector receive to protect them from harmful marketing practices, said Navarro.
Senator Angus King of Maine has welcomed the decision and said that this would make a huge difference to the lobsters of Maine, who had been doubly affected by the tariffs, the chinese imposed in 2018, and the collapse of sales to restaurants during the blockages of the coronavirus.
“This is really good news,” he told Reuters. “The timing is right. The summer has been difficult for our lobsters. ”
The office of the us trade representative and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
At the beginning of the month, Trump has called Navarro “the king of lobster” at an event in Maine, threatening to impose tariffs on cars from the european Union if the bloc wasn’t lowering its tariffs on american lobster.
The american legislators in Maine have called several times to help the lobster industry, which supports the livelihoods of 4500 lobsters are licensed by the State and 10,000 additional people, generating approximately $ 1.5 billion in economic impact each year.
Navarro said that the memorandum also requested the USTR to develop recommendations within the next 90 days on how to address the loss of market share of lobster fishers americans because of the trade agreement, the Canada-Europe.
Report of Tim Ahmann, Andrea Shalal and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Richard Chang and Grant McCool
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