U.S. congressmen seek emergency aid for fishermen caught in trade war with China

Democrats in the U.S. House are urging the president to extend to fishermen the same benefits announced for farmers on Tuesday. In this picture, salmon in a bucket a boat off the coast of Newtok, Alaska. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Democrats in the U.S. House are urging President Trump to give fisherman caught in the trade war with China the same benefits announced Tuesday for farmers.

The Trump administration said it will provide $12 billion in emergency aid to American farmers. Producers of soy and other crops are facing stiff import taxes on products they send to China, now that China has retaliated in response to President Trump’s first round of tariffs.

Tariffs hurting U.S., says Alaska senator

Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a statement yesterday calling the aid to farmers an admission that “tariffs are hurting, not helping, our country.” She said American fishermen are also caught in the crossfire.

Four U.S. House Democrats, including Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter Wednesday addressed to the president and the Commerce Secretary. They say America’s fishermen are hurt coming and going. First, they wrote, fishermen were disadvantaged by the U.S. tariff on imported steel and aluminum, which raises the cost of boats, crab traps and other metal gear. Now China has slapped a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on American seafood.

Alaska companies export about $1 billion worth of seafood to China annually.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: China’s Arctic ambitions no threat to Canada, say experts, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland’s exports up by 15% in 2017, YLE News

Norway: Norway and EU clash over rights to resource-rich waters around Svalbard, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Chinese bank invests in Russia’s Northern Sea Route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden Prime Minister tells Donald Trump U.S. tariffs “will hurt us all”, Radio Sweden

United States: China’s retaliatory tariffs could cripple Alaska’s seafood industry, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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