Alaska Salmon to be Removed from Chinese Tariffs - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Alaska Salmon to be Removed from Chinese Tariffs


Sullivan: “Important change for Alaska’s seafood industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it contributes to our economy”

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) – the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard – welcomed the recent decision by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to remove proposed tariffs on Alaska salmon from a list of approximately $200 billion worth of additional tariffs on Chinese imports. The change comes following months of engagement by Senator Sullivan and his staff to protect hardworking Alaskan fisherman and to educate the administration on the unintended impacts of this proposal.

“I commend Ambassador Lighthizer and the Trump administration for listening to our concerns, for taking thoughtful guidance and input, and for making this important change for Alaska’s seafood industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it contributes to our economy,” said Senator Sullivan. “While I am supportive of the administration’s broader efforts to address China’s unfair and non-reciprocal trading practices, targeting an American product, harvested by Alaskan fishermen on American flagged vessels runs completely counter to the administration’s strategy regarding China.

“The Alaska seafood industry is the lifeblood of our coastal communities, which is why my team and I engaged at every level to ensure these changes were made,” Sullivan said. “It’s a good first step, accounting for approximately $250 million worth of salmon imports caught primarily by Alaska fishermen. Without it, policies meant to counter China’s unfair trading practices would have actually harmed Alaskan workers and industries due to the fact that a portion of Alaskan seafood harvests go to China for limited reprocessing before being sold back to American companies and consumers, or elsewhere throughout the world.”

Since before the USTR announced its list of proposed tariffs on China, Senator Sullivan has worked to ensure the Alaska seafood industry is protected. This included numerous phone calls and meetings with Ambassador Lighthizer and USTR staff, regular discussions with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and President Trump, as well as public testimony before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Senator Sullivan’s engagement on the issue continues.

On September 28, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a modification in the Public Register to a list of additional tariffs on goods from China announced on September 17, 2018. This modification deleted the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), among others:

0304.81.10 Frozen salmon fillets, skinned, in blocks weighing over 4.5 kg, to be minced, ground or cut into pieces of uniform weight
0304.81.50 Other frozen salmon fillets

Of course, this is great news for Alaska Fishermen (and Ladies). Although, even if the tariffs were in place it wouldn't affect Alaska very much at all. I wrote [previously here] on why the Alaska Fish tariffs aren't a big deal and just hype by the media to scare Alaskans.

1. China ALREADY had a tariff on AK/US seafood of 15%, now it's increasing to 25%...why were we selling to China at such a high tax rate in the first place?

2. China ONLY represents 15% of our seafood who cares if we never trade with China again???

3. The idea that tariffs or trade wars will harm America and Alaska is BS and is ignorant of History (see below for clarification.)

4. Case in point, let's say we are now forced to sell that 15% trade deficit that used to be in China to Alaskans/Americans, who wins? We do! The seafood stays here and the money stays here in our economy.

So a question will come up, "well we sell to China because they buy at a cheaper rate than what the US is buying..." Um...Ok, so American fishermen are OK with making LESS money per pound of fish to China instead of America? Or a counter-argument will be, "well actually the fish price is set at an international level..." if you can sell a fish for $1 in America, why would you sell that same fish for .85 cents to China then and take a hit to your bottom line?

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