NMMA president: We are ready to help

Yesterday, NMMA President, Frank Hugelmeyer issued a memo to all members of the association regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the communication, NMMA remains committed to helping the entire industry navigate the rapidly developing situation and is proactively engaging the Trump administration and Congress to provide relief to American businesses.

Full memo:

As a member-owned, member-led association, we want you to know that we are working for you during these challenging and uncertain times as you deal with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in both your business and personal life. While NMMA has implemented several procedures to protect the health and well-being of the association and staff—including mandatory work from home—rest assured that NMMA remains open for business and is protecting our industry.

Over the past 72 hours, I have spoken with a number of you about how COVID-19 is impacting your business and how NMMA can help. Simply put, there is a mix of optimism coupled with real concerns that range from declining consumer demand to potential furloughs and everything in between. While most of you feel that recreational boating is well positioned to play a positive role in supporting the health and wellness of our country, everyone is focused on the seriousness of the immediate crisis at hand.

Please know that we hear you and are committed to helping you and the entire industry navigate this ever-changing situation. As such, we are proactively engaging the Trump administration and Congress as they work to address the rapidly evolving situation and provide relief to American businesses.

Where Things Are
The federal government has initiated three tranches of response to COVID-19. The first and second legislative packages have focused on health services, research and development, and emergency federal aid for families. The third legislative package, which is still being developed, is a significantly larger economic stimulus bill. Please click here for our one pager outlining all three of the aid packages.

NMMA is in constant communication with the administration and congressional leaders to ensure the recreational boating industry is part of the conversation as legislation is being developed. Specifically, we are calling on Congress to include the following in a federal aid package:

Remove Section 301 and Section 232 Tariffs: We know that many marine manufacturers are concerned with supply chain uncertainty as overseas manufacturing plants that many in our industry rely on shutter operations. NMMA is urging Congress and the administration to remove Section 301 Chinese tariffs on $360 billion of products and Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel. We are also urging the EU and other countries to drop retaliatory tariffs to protect against further economic loss.

Small Business Support: We have urged Congress to streamline approval for the small business disaster loan program, dealer floor plan financing, provide small- and medium-sized businesses financial certainty by working with banking regulators, and establish a “small business czar” to help businesses navigate the opportunities and new programs that will assist in the recovery.

Assist with Event and Major Meeting Cancellations: NMMA has urged Congress to include resources and assistance for associations, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt organizations that may have been impacted by event cancellations as a result of COVID-19.

For the foreseeable future we are going to give you timely updates on the federal response and solicit your input on how we can best be of service in the next few weeks and months. Additionally, Currents is being modified to focus on the most pressing COVID-19 news of the day, and we have created a landing page on NMMA’s website to serve as a one-stop shop for all COVID-19 related resources.

Lastly, as you’re probably aware, we recently canceled the Progressive® Insurance Saltwater Fishing Expo and the Progressive® Insurance Northwest Sportshow due to COVID-19. It is with regret that we will also be canceling the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. on May 12-14, 2020. Additional information regarding the American Boating Congress and how we will continue our advocacy work will be provided in the coming days, but we wanted to inform you of this scheduling change at this time.

NMMA is here to serve as a resource for you throughout this crisis. Please let us know of any changes or ways that we can further support your business over the course of the next few months.

Thank you for your continued support, and if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or email NMMA’s COVID-19 task force at taskforce@nmma.org.

Frank Hugelmeyer, President
National Marine Manufacturers Association

If you have questions, please contact NMMA director of communications for government relations, John-Michael Donahue at jdonahue@nmma.org.

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