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Senator Susan Collins announces big victory for Maine lobster industry in China Trade Deal, Phase One

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins today announced success in winning a major victory for the Maine lobster industry as part Phase One of the United States’ newly signed trade agreement with China. It is a victory eighteen months in the making.

“The inclusion of this provision in the Phase One Trade Agreement is a significant victory for Maine’s lobster industry, which has been unfairly harmed by retaliatory tariffs,” said Senator Collins. 

“I appreciate USTR Lighthizer’s responsiveness to the concerns industry members & I raised and for his efforts to secure the provision in the agreement.  I will continue to fight on behalf of our state’s lobstermen and women as well as the small businesses that rely on this industry, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Maine delegation to address the numerous challenges the industry faces,” Senator Collins continued.

“This trade agreement will provide lobstermen and women a more level playing field and stabilized access to China’s rapidly growing market for imported seafood products.  Senator Collins is doing an incredible job looking out for the interests of Maine’s workers and industries in our trade agreements and negotiations,” said USTR Lighthizer.

As part of the overall negotiation on Phase One of the deal, American representatives negotiated to level the playing field and secure purchase agreements for American goods. As a result of Senator Collins’ work, lobster is specifically highlighted in the agricultural goods section of the agreement.

U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called Senator Collins personally to deliver the good news. He attributed the victory to Senator Collins “tenacious” advocacy.

In making the announcement, Senator Collins laid out a timeline of the various pieces of advocacy that went into the victory.

That advocacy included work with USTR Lighthizer, the Maine Lobsterman’s Association, the Maine Lobstering Union and Senator Collins’ direct outreach to a number of government agencies, such as NOAA, the Commerce Department and USDA.

President Donald Trump signed the trade agreement, the first phase of the agreements with China designed to end a trade dispute, at the White House today. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was on hand to sign on behalf o the Chinese government.