Last week, U.S. President Trump, Canadian Prime Minster Trudeau, and Mexican President Nieto formally signed the new NAFTA trade agreement – now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
While the National Marine Manufacturers Association is supportive of USMCA, the agreement does not address eliminating retaliatory tariffs on U.S. boats.
In response to official signing of the trade deal, NMMA president, Thom Dammrich, and NMMA Canada president, Sara Anghel, stated, “We applaud the formal signing of USMCA – a vitally important trilateral trade pact, which will help ensure the continued health and success of industries like marine manufacturing that rely on the free flow of goods in North America. We thank all three leaders for preserving the special trading relationship between our countries and urge immediate ratification of this historic agreement.”
Dammrich and Anghel added 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. When the Trump Administration hit key allies with these tariffs, Canada and Mexico responded with punitive tariffs on distinctly American made industries and products, including recreational boats.
As a result, U.S. boat exports to both countries – 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 the industry grow, Dammrich and Anghel stated.
“While the official signing of USMCA is encouraging, the challenges created by the aluminum and steel tariffs and subsequent retaliation far outweigh our enthusiasm. Negotiators should capitalize on the goodwill created by this agreement and immediately remove Section 232 tariffs and retaliatory measures – thousands of businesses and jobs in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are counting on it.”
NMMA and NMMA Canada will continue to work together to eliminate all retaliatory tariffs on U.S. boat exports.
For more information, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Legal Affairs Nicole Vasilaros at firstname.lastname@example.org or NMMA Director of Federal Affairs Lance West at email@example.com.
Canadian-based members of NMMA should contact Anghel with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.