The clarification of China's tariffs policy will ease the bite of the sanctions for Seattle-based companies that have relied on Chinese labor to process salmon, pollock, crab and other products.

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U.S. seafood sent to China for processing  and re-export will be spared retaliatory tariffs, which will ease the bite of the sanctions for Seattle-based companies that have relied on Chinese labor to process salmon, pollock, crab and other products.

The clarification of China’s tariffs policy was announced Thursday by John Henderschedt, NOAA Fisheries’  director of international affairs, after agency consultations with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

The North Pacific fishing industry, which harvests off Alaska, exported more than $750 million of products to China in 2017.

The 25 percent U.S. seafood tariffs announced earlier this month by China apply to all products consumed within that nation. Other products  — including much of the Alaska salmon, pollock and crab  that goes into China —  undergo additional processing there, and are then re-exported to other nations. That makes them exempt from the tariffs.

When China initially announced the tariffs, it was unclear whether they would apply to reprocessed seafood.

Henderschedt said that some fishmeal products also will not be subject to the 25 percent tariff.

The tariffs are part of an escalating China-U.S. trade clash. China announced them shortly after the Trump administration unveiled 25 percent tariffs on about $34 billion in Chinese exports to the United States.  Those tariffs, scheduled to take effect July 6,  came in response to what the Trump administration said were unfair trade practices by China.