SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by John Sackton – July 5, 2018
China has reduced tariffs on 250 seafood products imported into their domestic market, as of July 1st. The average tariff cut was 50%, from an average rate across products of 15.7% to 6.9%. This is the fifth round of Chinese tariff cuts on a range of products.
Norway’s Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg cheered the move, saying it will provide more than 70 million kroner in cuts to Norwegian products sold in China. Norway exported more than 3 billion NOK worth of seafood to China in 2017.
“ If we take last year’s exports as a starting point, this means an annual tariff reduction of more than 70 million kroner. China is clearly opening up to more international trade. These are positive moves from what is clearly a large and very important market.”
‘It also means China will import more raw materials for further processing at home, which will provide their consumers with better access to goods. Lower tariffs are good news for the seafood industry.’
The minister said the move was a firm signal that China wanted to increase trade with the outside world. Norway now sees China as their most important export market for farmed salmon, and they expect it to grow substantially.
This highlights the disaster unfolding for the US seafood industry due to our governments initiating a trade war with China. As a result of the US initiating a trade war with China, China has placed retaliatory tariffs of 25% on seafood products exported from the US. This is a big enough cost to virtually shut down much of US seafood exports to China for internal consumption.
US seafood exporters will be shut out as other countries build up their brands, partnerships, and marketing networks.
Being at such a disadvantage will take years to overcome, and essentially blows up in smoke the millions of dollars US companies and seafood marketing organizations have spent competing in China, which is rapidly becoming the most important seafood importer in the world.
US export companies are at an even further disadvantage as the Chinese currency weakens in relation to the dollar.
When the rubble clears from this latest crazy trade fiasco, the US seafood industry will be smaller, poorer, and have less access to capital. Great job, Washington.