ICYMI: Alaskan-Caught Salmon Removed from Proposed Tariffs

USTR Finalizes Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Imports

As the 2018 salmon season wrapped up in Alaska, Alaskans received news from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that certain Alaskan salmon will be excluded from the list of seafood imports subject to tariffs, allowing Alaska seafood producers who send salmon to China for limited processing to reimport those products to the United States, tariff-free. This action comes after these items were initially included on a list of hundreds of goods entering the United States which would be impacted by tariffs.

“I have been concerned about the impact that China’s tariffs on American seafood will have on Alaska’s economy and urged President Trump to work towards a trade policy with China that protects these critical markets for our seafood industry. I commend USTR’s decision to withdraw proposed tariffs on certain Alaska caught salmon as it is imperative that our seafood industry—one of the key economic drivers in our state—has the ability to continue providing high-quality, sustainably harvested seafood to American consumers,” Senator Murkowski said. “This announcement is good news for our seafood industry, meaning Alaskans won’t be taxing our own salmon products as they return to the U.S. for domestic consumption.”

The announcement from USTR follows months of dedicated efforts by Alaska’s Congressional Delegation to push for a national trade policy that supports seafood producers and coastal communities. Senator Murkowski has been vocal on seafood tariffs, raising the issue with officials from USTR and the International Trade Administration (ITA) during hearings before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. In July, Senator Murkowski questioned U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the Administration’s trade strategy and how USTR plans to support foreign markets for Alaskan seafood. In September, Senator Murkowski questioned Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at ITA, on her agency’s engagement with the seafood industry to develop positive trade relationships with China, Russia, and the European Union.

Background: On June 15th, 2018, China announced a 25 percent tariff on a range of American seafood products to retaliate against U.S. tariffs targeting industrial goods and technologies. The United States responded by imposing 10 percent tariffs on seafood imports arriving from China, and on September 18th USTR announced that these tariffs will increase to 25 percent effective January 1st, 2019. Certain frozen salmon fillet products imported into the United States are now exempt from these tariffs.