When Donald Trump takes the debate stage tonight to bombard Mainers with lies about his disastrous record, he won’t be able to avoid the truth that his failed trade war with China was a disaster for Maine’s economy.
When he ran for president in 2016, Trump stood before Mainers and promised “the greatest trade deals” in history. Trump hasn’t delivered any great trade deals, but he has delivered a crushing blow to Maine’s economy. The disastrous ripple effects of Trump’s failed trade war caused Maine’s lobster industry to crater, slashing exports to the vital Chinese market in half. Maine’s wild blueberry market nearly vanished overnight, with Chinese exports dropping a staggering 97%, and the state’s dairy farms could lose an average of $50,000 in revenue. And Maine manufacturing companies are facing higher input prices, jeopardizing their competitive advantage, particularly in foreign markets.
What’s more, Trump’s attempts to paper over the mess he created have failed. He promised to provide assistance to the lobster industry, but excluded lobster dealers and processors who have suffered the most from his trade war. He settled for a phase one trade deal with China that secured vague promises to purchase more U.S. lobster, but China has actually purchased less lobster than when his trade war was in “full swing.” He was forced to bailout struggling farmers, but not one cent reached Maine wild blueberry farmers. And despite the devastating impacts on Maine’s economy, Trump continues to recklessly impose tariffs that will negatively impact Maine manufacturers.
“Tonight, Donald Trump is going to lie about how he built the best economy the world has ever seen, but Mainers know the truth: just like the rest of his incompetent economic policies, his failed trade war with China has been a catastrophe for our state,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “No amount of lies can undo the damage he’s inflicted on our lobstermen and women, wild blueberry farmers, dairy farmers, and manufacturers. Mainers know that we need a president who has a track record of rebuilding our economy, and that’s why we’re going to elect Joe Biden on November 3.”