As Donald Trump tries to paper over the damage his disastrous trade policies have inflicted on Maine’s lobster industry, last night he attempted to mislead Maine people about who is responsible for the industry’s downturn:
A new report fact checked Trump’s tweet, calling it “rife with falsehoods.” The truth is, Maine had a record lobster catch in President Obama’s final year in office, while lobster landings and value have declined since Trump took office. Donald Trump’s trade policies imposing tariffs on China “actually harmed the lobster industry” when China retaliated with a levy on American lobster. Maine lobster exports to China “cratered” as a result.
“Donald Trump’s disastrous trade policies upended Maine’s vital lobster industry, turning hardworking lobstermen into collateral damage in his reckless trade war with China,” said Kathleen Marra, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “Trump promised better trade deals, but all he’s managed to do is sell out Maine workers and put their livelihoods, and their families’ livelihoods, at risk.”
Boston Globe: Fact checking Trump’s claims about the Maine lobster industry
By David Abel
June 25, 2929
- In another tweet rife with falsehoods, President Trump on Wednesday alleged that his predecessor, Barack Obama, “destroyed the lobster and fishing industry in Maine.”
- The truth is that in 2016, the last year of Obama’s presidency, Maine had a record lobster catch. Not that Obama had anything to do with it, but during his eight years in office, Maine’s lobster catch nearly doubled in landings and value.
- The catch rose from less than 70 million pounds in 2008 to more than 132 million pounds in 2016, which remains the record. In the same period, the value of the catch surged from $245 million to a record $540 million.
- By contrast, the lobster catch has declined since Trump came into office. While landings and value have remained high — in historical terms — the catch declined by nearly 25 percent last year compared to Obama’s final year in office.
- Trump’s policies have actually harmed the lobster industry, which had previously experienced years of growing exports to Asia.
- Last year, US lobster sales there declined to less than $47 million through November — down from more than $138 million in 2018, through the same month.
- Much of Maine’s export business has since been taken up by Canada, where lobster sales to China have surged. Many in Maine worry that the longer the trade war continues, the more likely it is that Maine’s lobstermen will permanently lose the market to their competitors across the border.