The McLean, Virginia-headquartered National Fisheries Institute (NFI), pleased with the November 11 announcement that lawmakers in the European Parliament’s trade committee have voted in favor of removing tariffs on US lobster, now encourages the full Parliament to back the measure. Passage would put American exporters of lobster to Europe back on a level playing field with Canadian competitors, who have benefited from duty-free access to the EU market for several years now. In 2017, US sales of lobster to Europe were valued at over $111 million.
The duties on live and frozen US lobster shipped to the European Union had been between 8 and 20 percent, but as part of a mini trade deal announced by the Trump Administration in August, the rate will drop to zero. The deal passed in the Parliament committee with 40 votes in favor and 2 against, illustrating the overwhelming interest of the EU in opening the market to sustainable American lobster.
“The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entire seafood supply chain, including US lobster, so this trade triumph could not come at a more pivotal time. It will directly help the men and women on the water, in the processing plants, and the folks who play a role in the distribution and logistics that get lobsters from our waters to dinner tables in the EU,” said NFI President John Connelly. “NFI applauds President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for focusing on US seafood exports. We also commend Senator Susan Collins on her steadfast advocacy for the US seafood community.”