Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins raised the concerns of Maine’s seafood industry directly to President Donald Trump today, urging him to quickly release the $300 million for assistance to fishermen and businesses along the seafood supply chain that was included in the CARES Act. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins helped to secure this critical relief provision in the final legislation.
“When you signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, Maine fishermen and the diverse supply chain businesses with which they work were encouraged by the inclusion of $300 million in assistance specifically for their sector,” Senator Collins wrote to President Trump. “I worked with a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues to secure this crucial funding. It has been more than a month since you signed the bill into law, and to date none of these funds have been disbursed to those who desperately need this support. With each day that passes absent this assistance, the frustration and economic damage mount.”
“The Maine seafood industry and those who work within it are defined by resilience,” Senator Collins continued. “I am confident that this sector will demonstrate its resilience once again and emerge strong from this crisis – but these fishermen and businesses need immediate access to the help that Congress rightfully provided them in the CARES Act. I urge you to direct the Department of Commerce to release this much-needed assistance as soon as possible.”
Maine’s fishing industry has been under significant strain due to the closure of restaurants and the disruptions to trade resulting from COVID-19. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has estimated that nearly 70 percent of all seafood eaten in the U.S. is consumed in food service establishments. Senator Collins previously wrote to Commerce Secretary Ross, calling on him to release this $300 million in funding.
Click HERE to read Senator Collins’ letter to President Trump.