Layoffs hit, prices lag as lobster biz feels tariff pinch

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American lobster industry is starting to feel the pinch of China's tariff on U.S. seafood as exporters and dealers report sagging prices and financial pressure.

China is a major buyer of lobsters, and the country imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. say their business in China has dried up since then.

Wholesale prices also have dipped a bit as dealers lost markets. Business publisher Urner Barry reports that prices in July and August were both slightly less than the same month the previous year.

Maine is the biggest lobster producer. At least one company, The Lobster Company of Arundel, Maine, says it has resorted to layoffs because of shrinking business.