Alaska Seafood Organization seeks Comments on US Tariffs

    KENAI, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska seafood organization is encouraging industry members to comment on the proposed U.S. tariffs on products imported from China that could negatively affect the state's seafood industry.

    The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is asking members to comment before the September deadline on the proposed increases to tariffs that include seafood products from China, the Peninsula Clarion reported Sunday.

    About $2.7 billion in U.S. seafood is processed in China and sent back to the U.S. annually with most of that coming from Alaska, according to the organization that promotes the state's seafood industry.

    In response to U.S. tariffs, China levied a 25 percent tariff on U.S. seafood imported for consumption, including Pacific salmon, cod, Alaska Pollock, and other commonly exported products. The tariffs went into effect last month, but China excluded seafood shipped into the country that is intended for re-export after processing.

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed increasing tariffs last month from 10 percent to 25 percent on Chinese products, including seafood. The U.S. seafood processed in China could be hit with tariffs upon re-entering the country.

    The Alaska seafood industry has already experienced negative effects from the Chinese tariffs, which will increase the cost of Alaska seafood products to Chinese consumers, the organization said in a statement.

    "Depending on the species, the Alaska seafood products may not be cost-competitive with the additional tariff," the organization said in a statement. "Implementation of this tariff has already caused hiccups, delays, and order cancellations. If the tariff stays in place, it could impact demand in China for Alaska seafood products. It could impact consumer sentiment toward U.S. products and China may seek other suppliers."

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