Monday, February 18

Boating Leaders Voice New Concerns About Tariffs

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Leaders of the boating industries in the U.S. and Canada say they were disappointed that the new $1.2 trillion trade deal that the U.S., Canada and Mexico signed at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires did not ease retaliatory tariffs hurting boat manufacturers. The trade deal, called the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, was signed by President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. It needs to be approved by Congress to take effect here.

The issue dates to when the Trump Administration imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The European Union, Canada and Mexico retaliated with tariffs on many U.S.-made products, including recreational boats. Canada imposed a 10 percent tariff and Mexico imposed a 15 percent tariff.

In the U.S., the National Marine Manufacturers Association has been lobbying hard to have the tariffs removed. After the Buenos Aires agreement, Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA, and Sara Anghel, the president of the Canadian NMMA, issued a joint statement. It said the agreement “fails to resolve an issue that has significantly hurt the recreational boating industry: U.S. tariffs on virtually all aluminum and steel imports and the resulting retaliatory measures.”

It said that U.S. boat exports to Mexico and Canada, “which account for more than half of the U .S. industry’s international sales – have all but dried up, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and businesses in all three countries. For every day that passes without a solution to this problem, the chances of seeing irreparable harm to our industry grow.”

Many U.S. builders have a significant export business. Duane Kuck, the CEO of Regal Boats (pictured above), said that the EU and Canada account for 20 percent of Regal’s total sales. The tariffs will cost Regal $13 million if they continue, he said. Read more:




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