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NMMA issues industry-wide action call against tariff

By The National Marine Manufacturers Association

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is calling on industry stakeholders to sound off against the new 167.16 percent tariff on Chinese common alloy aluminum sheet imports.

The total tariff on the key boating industry manufacturing material now stands at more than 200 percent.

The Trump Administration claims its trade policies aim to level the playing field for American workers, but instead these actions could hobble thriving industries like recreational boating, said NMMA’s President Thom Dammrich.

“In an attempt to punish China, the Trump Administration is wreaking havoc on the global economy,’ Dammrich said. “These harmful policies will have costly effects across American industries, but few are being singled out quite like the U.S. recreational boating industry.”

The Administration’s announcement means that common alloy aluminum sheet imports from China will now face a total tariff of at least 210 percent: A 167 percent anti-dumping duty, at least a 33 percent countervailing duty, and a 10 percent Section 232 tariff on all aluminum imports.

This exorbitant tariff is the product of a self-initiated U.S. Commerce Department investigation that failed to seek input from industries now facing the troubling downstream impacts.

“While nearly all marine manufacturers source their aluminum domestically, these tariffs have already distorted the global market and additional cost spikes are all but inevitable,” Dammrich said. “This is terrible news for marine manufacturers, as aluminum boats represent 44 percent of new boat sales each year and account for $3 billion in retail sales.

Roughly 300 products commonly used in recreational boats are now subject to a 25 percent tariff, following a recent announcement of Section 301 tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese products.

Worse still, Canada, the European Union, and Mexico – which account for 69 percent of annual U.S. boat exports – have announced retaliatory tariffs on boats of 10, 25, and 15 percent respectively.

“The 650,000 hardworking Americans whose jobs are supported by the marine manufacturing industry depend on free and fair trade,” Dammrich said. “In addition to punishing China, the Administration is punishing uniquely American manufacturing industries and has driven up costs for American manufacturers and consumers, antagonized long-standing trade partners, and nearly eliminated our key export markets.”

Dammrich said it’s time for the Trump Administration to recognize the negative effects of its current direction and focus on negotiating substantive trade agreements that truly benefit American businesses, consumers, and workers.

The NMMA, joined by the RV industry and trailer manufacturers, will continue to engage in the process to present the industry’s case to the Trump Administration and the International Trade Commission.

For more information, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs Nicole Vasilaros or NMMA Director of Federal Affairs Lance West.

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