NMMA opposes tariffs on multiple fronts

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has voiced its opposition and supported the efforts of like-minded members of Congress in three key ways in recent weeks.

NMMA’s government relations team distributed statements of opposition jointly endorsed with International Council of Marine Industry Association and the European Boating Industry, highlighted the marine industry during Congressional hearings with the Trump Adminstration, and held daily meetings with Senators and Congressmen working to mitigate the impact tariffs on steel and aluminum may have on the recreational boating industry.

During hearings last week, members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee questioned Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the adverse impact of aluminum and steel tariffs on the recreational boating industry to which Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02) shared her concern over the negative impact to the marine industry.

During additional hearings with USTR Ambassador Lighthizer, lawmakers discussed the risks of retaliation from tariffs. Congresswoman Walorski specifically focused on retaliation from trading partners like the European Union (EU).

She stated, “Corn and motorboats are exported from my district to the EU, both of those are on the EU’s retaliation list.”

The threat of a trade war poses significant risk to the marine industry, Walorski stated.

What's more, on March 14, NMMA President, Thom Dammrich, joined with Piero Formenti, President, European Boating Industry (EBI), and Jouko Huju, ICOMIA president, to reiterate that a reasonable and balanced partnership between the USA and the EU, which does not threaten growth, jobs and innovation, is the only sustainable way forward.

This unified push by the marine industry was one of several efforts in multiple industries that increased pressure on the Administration, leading to a temporary exemption for the EU from the aluminum and steel tariffs.

The NMMA federal affairs team is continuing to work with members of Congress and the Administration on a permanent tariff exemption for the EU, while ensuring any changes to U.S. trade policy that may be under consideration do not harm the success of the association’s members.

For more information, please contact NMMA’s Vice President of Federal and Legal Affairs Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org or NMMA’s Director of Federal Government Affairs Lance West at lwest@nmma.org.

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