Two men and a boy head out early Tuesday to a fishing boat in Bass Harbor for a day of hauling lobster traps as the sun rises over Mount Desert Island, July 10, 2018. Democrats in Congress are pushing for relief for fishermen harmed by the escalating trade dispute with China. Credit: Bill Trotter

A group of Democrats in Congress says fishermen are headed for a financial disaster due to increasing tariffs, and the government should be prepared to provide relief.

The effort is led by Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. It’s designed to help fishermen who are hurt by heavy tariffs imposed by China on dozens of American seafood items as the U.S.’s trade hostilities with that country escalate.

Federal law allows the government to make money available for fishermen who suffer loss of business from a natural or man-made disaster. Moulton’s bill expands the disaster definition to include “unilateral tariffs imposed by other countries on any United States seafood.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine and Rep. Bill Keating of Massachusetts are also named on the bill, which the Democrats announced Wednesday.

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