Executive Briefings

Canada-European Union Pact Worries U.S. Lobster Industry

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada's approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs.

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada last week. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S.

The tariffs for fish and seafood average 11 percent, and the EU is the biggest importer of seafood in the world. EU countries imported more than $150m in lobster from the U.S. last year, along with more than $190m Canadian (US $140m) from Canada.

Seafood exporters and lobster industry members like Dave Madden, owner of exporter Lobster Trap in Bourne, Massachusetts, said they fear loss of money and jobs in the U.S. under the new rules. He ships about 4.5 million pounds of lobsters to countries such as Italy, France and Spain per year.

"Not only does it hurt not to be able to ship that poundage, I don't need as many people to pack," he said. "So people are going to lose jobs over this."

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The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada last week. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S.

The tariffs for fish and seafood average 11 percent, and the EU is the biggest importer of seafood in the world. EU countries imported more than $150m in lobster from the U.S. last year, along with more than $190m Canadian (US $140m) from Canada.

Seafood exporters and lobster industry members like Dave Madden, owner of exporter Lobster Trap in Bourne, Massachusetts, said they fear loss of money and jobs in the U.S. under the new rules. He ships about 4.5 million pounds of lobsters to countries such as Italy, France and Spain per year.

"Not only does it hurt not to be able to ship that poundage, I don't need as many people to pack," he said. "So people are going to lose jobs over this."

Read Full Article