Florida lobster fishermen fear trade war amid Irma recovery

Posted at 12:48 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 12:48:18-04

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) - Lobster fisherman in the Florida Keys fear a trade war with China could undermine storm recovery in the island chain.
Lobsters are among the seafood and other U.S. goods hit by Chinese tariffs in early July, after the Trump administration put tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods.
Florida's nearly eight-month commercial spiny lobster fishing season opens Monday. Keys fishermen had hoped the harvest would help them recoup losses from last September's hurricane.
But the industry has come to depend on Chinese exports. Fishermen worry tariffs could raise prices by 25 percent, sending the Chinese market looking for lobster in another country's waters.
Ernie Piton of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association says about 90 percent of spiny lobsters caught by the Keys fleet go to China.

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