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Trade minister says she’ll keep eye on U.S. probe of Canadian lobster industry

A lobster boat is escorted by a flock of sea gulls as it heads to port in Eastern Passage, N.S. on Monday, Dec. 29, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

International Trade Minister Mary Ng says she’s keeping a close watch on a trade investigation into the Canadian lobster industry requested by the administration of United States President Donald Trump.

The Liberal cabinet minister said Monday her government will always defend Canadian industries, in response to a question about the United States International Trade Commission investigation.

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The Canadian industry gained most of the Chinese market that the Americans lost after China slapped a 35 per cent tariff on U.S. lobster exports.

Canada also saw its lobster exports grow in Europe after it signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, with the European Union.

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The Trump administration, however, recently signed an agreement with China that removes the 35 per cent tariff. The U.S. has also signed a separate deal with Europe that removes a tariff on American lobsters that gave Canadians an advantage.

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The Lobster Council of Canada said Monday it’s doubtful the Trump’s administration’s investigation into Canada’s lobster exports will have a major impact on the industry.

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