2024 American Boating Congress begins

Leaders and advocates from the recreational boating and fishing industry gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to kick off 2024 the American Boating Congress (ABC), a three-day event that showcases the influence and economic power of one of the leading sectors of the $1.1 trillion outdoor recreation economy.

Throughout the event, advocates will meet with lawmakers on the industry’s most pressing issues, and attendees will hear from speakers who will give an inside look into the Administration and on Capitol Hill.

Annually, recreational boating accounts for more than $230 billion in economic output and supports more than 812,000 jobs. Boating building is a uniquely American industry, with roughly 95% of all boats sold in the U.S. made in the U.S. Approximately 93% of boat manufacturers are small businesses.

The policy priorities that anchor the discussions at ABC reflect a focus on protecting the industry’s ability to operate and grow. Those priorities are to protect public waters and boating access; keep U.S. marine manufacturing globally competitive; improve and expand recreation infrastructure; and drive industry sustainability and innovation progress.

As NMMA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer writes in his letter to ABC attendees: “Over the past several years, the industry’s critical advocacy work has resulted in significant legislative victories amidst a challenging and ever-changing political landscape. This includes benefits to public access and domestic manufacturing through legislative wins like the Great American Outdoors Act, the CHIPS Act, and the bipartisan recreation package that is making its way through Congress right now.

“Still, our industry faces headwinds. We are at a time of intense regulatory activity with federal regulations impacting businesses and industries at a $3 trillion cost to our economy. These headwinds include the proposed vessel speed restriction rule along the Atlantic seaboard, the aluminum extrusion antidumping and countervailing duties petitions, and the continued need for resilient recreational infrastructure.”

NMMA says now more than ever, recreational boating and fishing advocates’ voices are needed in Washington, D.C. to impress upon lawmakers and regulators the importance of supporting a healthy and vibrant recreational boating industry.

View the full ABC agenda.

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