As US reviews tariffs on Chinese goods, seafood industry mixed on fees’ future

The United States Trade Representative office building.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is performing its four-year review of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, and prominent seafood industry members have mixed opinions on whether the tariffs should be renewed for the goods they trade in.

The review is a statutory requirement of the tariffs, and will cover the 6 July, 2018, tariff action that was later modified in 23 August, 2018. The actions, taken by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, placed 25 percent tariffs on a swathe of seafood products. In turn, China placed its own tariffs on a wide array of U.S. seafood products, including salmon, lobster, shrimp, cod, tuna, pollock, oysters, scallops, Dungeness crab, snow crab, sablefish, and geoduck.

Those tariffs have remained in place, and so far the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has been unwilling to remove the tariffs on Chinese goods.

The review will determine whether the Section 301 tariffs should be continued or not, as under current rules the tariffs will expire after four years unless deliberately renewed. Numerous seafood industry trade organizations and companies have contributed public comments as part of the review.

The National Fisheries Institute opposes the continuation of the tariffs due to the trade barriers they have had on the U.S. seafood industry.

“The Section 301 tariffs have harmed U.S. seafood importers and exporters, and their American workers, even as the duties have done nothing to discipline China for its violations of U.S. and international trade laws – violations that everyone agrees have nothing to do with fish,” NFI wrote. 

Other seafood organizations, however, want the tariffs to continue – or even expanded to cover …

Photo courtesy of Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock 

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