From Alaska Business/Digital, Feb. 2020

The seafood industry and public have until August 1 to comment on ways to improve U.S. seafood trade practices.

The comments are invited by a new task force named by the Trump Administration in early May to resolve barriers to U.S. seafood trade and support more fair market access.

A good start would be including seafood on the official state sheets used by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

For Alaska, the word seafood is not even mentioned although it has been the state’s top export by far for decades. But the trade sheet incorrectly claims that oil and coal are Alaska’s top export.

It also states that “Alaska exports supported an estimated 37,000 jobs.” Wrong again.

Alaska’s seafood industry is the state’s top private employer, directly supporting nearly 60,000 jobs and 10,000 secondary jobs.

Seafood processing is Alaska’s largest manufacturing base.  But under a category called Made in America Manufacturing Exports from Alaska and Jobs, the trade data states that top manufacturing exports are transportation equipment ($68 million), food & kindred products ($23 million), computer & electronic products ($23 million), and machinery, except electrical ($23 million).

 Who knew!  

It says Agriculture in Alaska Depends on Exports and claims that: “Alaska is the country’s 50th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $17 million in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2017.”

Topping the list of goods was “other plant products” at $14 million, followed by livestock ($1 million), feeds and grains ($945,000) and beef and veal ($326,000).

Seafood also is not mentioned in the US trade pages for other big producers like Maine and Louisiana.

And Hawaii will be surprised to learn that, according to the federal trade office, its largest exports also are oil and coal – although it has no reserves of either!

Industry members and the public can send seafood trade ideas via email to NOAA Fisheries by August 1.  ( )


Original posting by NOAA/Dept. of Commerce

U.S. Seafood Trade Task Force seeks input from industry and the public

Recommendations will be accepted through August 1, 2020

UPDATED: July 13, 2020. A link for all submitted comments has been added to this page.

July 10, 2020

The Interagency U.S. Seafood Trade Task Force wants to hear from you.Today, the Federal Register published a notice inviting the U.S. seafood and fishing industry to submit comments and suggestions for the newly-established task force, which will be co-chaired by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The task force  stems from the Presidential Executive Order signed May 7, 2020, on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth. The Task Force will work to support fair market access for U.S. seafood products through trade policy and negotiations.

Jim Sanford, assistant U.S. trade representative for market access and industrial competitiveness, and Drew Lawler, deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries, will work closely with interagency partners to develop a comprehensive interagency seafood trade strategy. The strategy will identify opportunities to improve access to foreign markets through trade policy and negotiations; resolve technical barriers to U.S. seafood exports; and otherwise support fair market access for U.S. seafood products.

Industry and the public are invited to submit comments via email to through August 1, 2020. Submitted comments are available online.