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Legislation Would Prohibit Businesses That Ban Maine Products from Tax Reimbursement Programs

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Maine Legislative Republicans held a press conference today, Dec. 6, to discuss the efforts by outside environmental groups to destroy the State’s beleaguered lobster industry.

Maine lobstermen were part of the event at at Hallowell Seafood & Produce as letting the public know about legislation that has been submitted. It will prohibit any business from participating in the state’s Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement and Business Equipment Tax Exemption Programs that, based on third-party certifications, bans, boycotts or otherwise prevents or restricts the sale or distribution of any Maine-based goods that are legally harvested, grown or produced.

One such retailer that has banned the sale of Maine Lobster based on third-party certifications is Whole Foods in Portland.

Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor, said:

This is a war. It is not just about lobster fishing – it is a war on workers, family values, conservation, science and common sense. It is going to take all of us standing together combined with many others throughout Maine to preserve the ability of lobster fishing families to earn a living, conserve the resource, and create jobs for thousands of Mainers.

In addition to the loss of the tax programs, the legislation will also ban the state from any contracts with such businesses.

Senator Senator Trey Stewart, R-Aroostook, said:

We will also be asking the Attorney General to investigate the Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch to see who they are funded by, what foreign governments are involved in their groups and what benefits result from their partners by singling-out Maine’s lobster industry… This group makes almost 90% of their funding by selling their logo and we’d like to know what, if any, impact their decision had on their funding streams. An attack on the Maine lobster industry is an attack on all of Maine.

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