Protecting Cape Ann Workers and Markets

Last week, I sent a letter requesting that the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Export Development hold a hearing on Cape Ann to determine the effects of the Trump Administration trade war with China on the Massachusetts lobster industry. 

I am concerned that two prominent Cape Ann seafood businesses, National Fish & Seafood and Pigeon Cove Whole Foods have recently shuttered their operations, resulting in a combined loss of approximately 250 jobs and tax revenue to our City. Although NSD Seafood purchased the assets of National Fish & Seafood and is reopening some of the plant’s processing lines and rehiring some of its workers as Atlantic Fish and Seafood, its stability and longevity remain to be seen. 

I want to commend Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and her team and my state colleagues, especially State Senator Bruce Tarr, for working closely with our community to mitigate economic harm of the loss of these two businesses. However, in a time when U.S. lobster exports to China have decreased by 70 percent and Canadian exports to China have increased 50 percent, we must recognize that the closure of businesses, loss of revenue to our communities, and lost jobs for our workers will continue. 

Like the waves that pummel our shores, the ripple effect of these tariffs on our industry will only continue to deteriorate and damage a once thriving industry that provided jobs, decent wages, and opportunity. We must understand the full effect these tariffs are having on our communities, our small businesses, and our workers and their families. 

We, as a Commonwealth, must advocate for our residents, businesses and communities, and ask the Trump Administration to provide necessary relief and demand a quick resolution to this matter.