At a last gasp campaign stop in Maine yesterday, Donald Trump tried to boast about one of his attempts to paper over his trade war failures that have brought devastating consequences for Mainers, but the truth is, Trump’s desperate efforts to undo the damage he’s caused hasn’t helped Maine lobstermen and fishermen “at all.” Instead, his reckless trade policies have toppled vital Maine industries with disastrous consequences for Maine’s economy.
Prior to Trump’s election in 2016, Maine’s iconic industries boomed––lobster profits reached an all-time high and wild blueberry exports soared. When Trump took office, he escalated trade tensions with China, and his failed trade war ensued. Maine’s lobster exports to China were cut in half. Wild blueberry exports to China nearly vanished overnight, dropping a staggering 97 percent. And the havoc wreaked by the tariffs was not limited to Maine’s two most iconic industries––the state’s dairy farmers, potato farmers, and manufacturers also faced significant hardships.
Trump’s trade policies have endangered the livelihoods of Mainers who rely on these vital industries, but he’s done little to clean up the mess he’s made. Not only did his pledge to lift restrictions on protected waters not help the state’s lobster industry––because Maine fishermen don’t actually fish in those waters––but the assistance he did provide left out the lobster dealers and processors who have suffered the most from his failed trade war. Additionally, Trump excluded wild blueberry farmers entirely from his bailout, and has left Maine’s manufacturers drowning in uncertainty.
“Trump only has eight days to turn around his flailing campaign in Maine, so he’s resorted to last ditch drop-ins to lie to Mainers about his disastrous economic record,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “But no amount of lying will change the truth: Trump’s disastrous trade wars risked the livelihoods of our lobstermen and women, our wild blueberry farmers, our dairy farmers, our potato farmers, and our manufacturers. Voters aren’t going to forget that when they cast their ballots.”