Lobsters at center of Trump’s latest tariff battles with EU, China

Investors relieved America is staying in China trade deal

FOX Business’ Blake Burman discusses what President Trump announced during his press conference about China, including Hong Kong and coronavirus.

President Trump was in Maine meeting with commercial fishermen on Friday where he threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from the European Union if they did not drop tariffs on U.S. lobsters.

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“The European Union has ripped this country off so much it’s unbelievable,” Trump said. “If they don’t change I’m going to put a tariff on their cars until they change and they’ll change right away.”

Roundtable participants told Trump that Canadian fishermen do not have to pay a tariff when sending product into the European Union but U.S. fishermen do.

CHINA HAS DONE ‘GOOD JOB’ UPHOLDING PHASE ONE TRADE COMMITMENTS TO US, LIGHTHIZER SAYS

Trump said the tariff would be “equivalent plus.” He put White House adviser Peter Navarro in charge of that policy, dubbing him the “lobster king.”

“They’ve been almost as bad over the years as China in terms of trade,” Trump added.

Maine fishermen also explained that the U.S.-China trade war resulted in tariffs worth 40 percent on U.S. lobsters, causing U.S. fishermen to send products to China through Canada. That process was characterized as an “added expense.”

Lobsters are one of the many products that China has committed to increasing its purchase of through its Phase One trade deal with the U.S. As previously reported by FOX Business, despite concerns that Beijing would not meet its purchase commitments, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Thursday that China has done a “pretty good job” despite the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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According to the White House, the U.S. has a $16.6 billion seafood trade deficit, while the country imports more than 85 percent of the fish domestically consumed.

Trump also committed to reopening 5,000 miles of fishing areas in the Northeast for commercial fishing, which had been blocked off under the Obama Administration.

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