US Scallop Association advocates for competitive tariff rates
When members of the American Scallop Association went to Washington last week to take in in the annual NOAA Fish Fry, the trade group used the opportunity to hand a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
In the letter, the ASA asks Ross for help in making their product more competitive for European exports. Specifically, the group cited the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which the ASA claimed puts U.S. scallop producers at an 8-percent disadvantage against Canadian competitors.
The group wants Ross to resume trade negotiations with EU members as soon as possible and lock in tariff rates that mirror those for Canadian products.
“The ASA had a discussion focused on international trade with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross about how CETA-rigged prices are causing irreparable harm to US companies trying to export lobster and scallops to the EU,” said John Whiteside, Jr., general counsel for the organization, in a statement.
The letter was delivered at a time when U.S. trade is in turmoil. President Trump has discussed placing tariffs on products imported from China, Canada and European allies, and in turn, leaders from those countries have threatened similar actions against U.S. goods.
In 2016, according to data from Flexport.com, the U.S. exported USD 153.5 million (EUR 132.2 million) in frozen scallops, with more than a third of that going to the Netherlands.
America also exported USD 21.5 milion (EUR 18.5 million) worth of fresh scallops in 2016, with Canada and France receiving the majority of those shipments.
During the Fish Fry, the group’s attending members met with Ross and Barry Myers, President Trump’s nominee to head NOAA. Myers still awaits Senate confirmation. ASA members attending the Fish Fry included: Whiteside, Ross Paasche, Joseph Furtado, Paul Joly, Master Chef George Karousos, Barbara Cournoyer, Brittany Bushee, and Steve Zevitas.