Standing by for the verdict

Published on February 3rd, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the industry’s largest trade association in the U.S., and its mission is to be a unifying force and powerful voice for the recreational boating industry, working to strengthen and grow boating and protect the interests of its member companies.

The United States has a new president who is tasked with looking after the interest of the nation, and is now reviewing the action taken by the previous administration. Among those actions was to support US manufacturing by imposing tariffs on imports.

However, this effort to balance trade often prompted retaliatory tariffs, and now the administration led by President Biden must determine how best to guide the entire country and its industries.

Earlier this week, European Union Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis urged the Biden administration to remove U.S. tariffs on E.U. steel and aluminum, signaling the bloc would end its retaliatory levies on American products, including boats.

NMMA applauded the call for a truce between the trading partners, which has hit many American boat builders that export products to the E.U.

Following U.S. imposed tariffs on E.U. aluminum and steel, the trade bloc responded by levying a 25 percent tariff on U.S. boats and engines. Since the tariffs were implemented in 2018, American boat exports to the E.U. – the industry’s second largest international market – have decreased by more than 30 percent, costing the industry more than $400 million.

This is not surprising as any change in trade policy is a choice to benefit some groups at the expense of others. Was the end worth the means? That’s what the Biden administration must determine, and the boating industry is eager to present their case.

Eliminating the 25 percent retaliatory tariff on boats has been a top priority of the U.S. and E.U. recreational boating industry. During President Biden’s transition, NMMA, the European Boating Industry, and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations sent a letter to the incoming American president, urging on him to swiftly address trade relations between Europe and the U.S.

Standing by for the verdict.

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