“The European Union has ripped this country off so much it’s unbelievable,” Trump said. “If they don’t change I’m going to put a tariff on their cars until they change and they’ll change right away.”
Roundtable participants told Trump that Canadian fishermen do not have to pay a tariff when sending product into the European Union but U.S. fishermen do.
“They’ve been almost as bad over the years as China in terms of trade,” Trump added.
Maine fishermen also explained that the U.S.-China trade war resulted in tariffs worth 40 percent on U.S. lobsters, causing U.S. fishermen to send products to China through Canada. That process was characterized as an “added expense.”
Lobsters are one of the many products that China has committed to increasing its purchase of through its Phase One trade deal with the U.S. As previously reported by FOX Business, despite concerns that Beijing would not meet its purchase commitments, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Thursday that China has done a “pretty good job” despite the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to the White House, the U.S. has a $16.6 billion seafood trade deficit, while the country imports more than 85 percent of the fish domestically consumed.
Trump also committed to reopening 5,000 miles of fishing areas in the Northeast for commercial fishing, which had been blocked off under the Obama Administration.