U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Sullivan requests tariff exemption for state’s seafood

Tariffs creating uncertainty for seafood industry, senator says

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska senator has written to the U.S. trade representative asking for Alaska fish species to be removed from a list of goods facing tariffs, a report said.

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week, The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

As part of an ongoing trade dispute with China, earlier this month the Trump Administration announced an increase in tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of products and tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Sullivan said he asked Lighthizer to consider removing tariffs from seafood fished in Alaska including salmon, some species of rockfish and flatfish, Pollock, and Pacific cod.

The increase in tariffs is “creating tremendous uncertainty” for the industry and “is deeply troubling, because they continue to potentially negatively impact the very Americans the administration is trying to help,” Sullivan’s letter said.

[Shellfish rehabilitation bill carries economic potential]

The letter was also signed by Sen Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, who are both Republicans.

The administration risks “losing critical congressional support” if the tariffs result in targeting Americans, “like hard working Alaskan fisherman who harvest a world class product from our well-managed fisheries,” the letter said.

Sullivan said he met with Lighthizer last week.

“He was very engaged. My office and his office have been working this non-stop for the last couple of weeks,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he hoped the request would encourage the administration not to repeat the “inadvertent shooting of ourselves in the foot.”

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