Boating Matters
Stand Up and Take Action!
Take Action: Join the Fight Against Boat Tariffs
The escalating trade war took a regrettable turn this week with the Administration announcing a new 167.16 percent tariff on common alloy aluminum sheet imports from China, bringing the total tariff on the product to at least 210 percent.
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. These tariffs are disrupting the global aluminum market and increasing the cost of raw materials for U.S. manufacturers.
In addition, roughly 300 component parts 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.
In an attempt to punish China, the Administration is wreaking havoc on the global economy. These harmful policies will have costly effects across American industries, but few to none are being singled out quite like the U.S. recreational boating industry.
With our industry facing tariffs on multiple fronts, it is important you let your voice be heard.
Take action now and tell President Trump to make a deal that immediately withdraws these tariffs.
Without a solution, our industry – and the entire U.S. economy – will suffer.
Take action NOW.
Petition Text
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
The undersigned businesses and leaders in the $39 billion recreational boating industry, who collectively employ thousands of Americans, would like to raise our significant concern regarding your administration’s recent trade actions. The U.S. marine industry is being unfairly targeted by three different types of tariffs: Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum sheet, and Section 301 tariffs on nearly 300 marine related products. The immediate consequences of these tariffs are particularly damaging to our industry, manifesting in the form of rapidly rising manufacturing costs and retaliatory actions from key trading partners.
Recreational boating is an important contributor to the U.S. economy – supporting 35,000 marine businesses – and a treasured pastime for millions of Americans. Over 142 million Americans take to the water annually, in approximately 12 million registered vessels. Recreational boating is a uniquely American-made product with 95 percent of boats sold in the U.S., made in the U.S.
Since your decision to impose global tariffs on aluminum and steel under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, marine manufacturers have seen substantial price increases for the worldwide cost of aluminum. Aluminum sheet is used to manufacture a variety of boats and component parts. In 2017, 117,000 boats sold were primarily aluminum-based (e.g., pontoon and fishing), comprising 44 percent of new boat sales. These products are manufactured throughout the U.S., with heavy concentration in states such as Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington.
Additionally, after several unsuccessful attempts to negotiate exemptions to Section 232 tariffs, Canada, the European Union, and Mexico responded with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. boats. The majority of boats entering the EU will face a 25 percent tariff while Canada is applying a 10 percent tariff and Mexico a 15 percent tariff on boats. This will make our industry less globally competitive in our top three export markets. As a result, dealers have already started canceling orders and businesses are facing significant economic uncertainty. And, the EU’s 25 percent tariff makes U.S. boats all but unmarketable. Without a solution that immediately withdrawals these tariffs or exempts key allies, our industry – and the entire U.S. economy – will suffer.
The cost of aluminum is also being impacted by antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum sheet. Preliminary tariffs on Chinese aluminum sheet exceed 200 percent. While nearly 90 percent of U.S marine manufacturers source their aluminum domestically, your actions have disrupted costs across the globe, resulting in higher prices and supply shortages in the U.S. market. The compounding effect of Section 232 tariffs and antidumping and countervailing duties is jeopardizing the viability of our U.S. based manufacturing sector.
Finally, Section 301 tariffs of 25 percent on approximately $50 billion worth of select Chinese products – including marine engines, navigational equipment, and components – are increasing the cost of doing business and significantly inflating consumer prices. For some products, the additional cost to the consumer will be approximately $2,000. While we commend your action to crack down on unfair trade practices by the Chinese, we believe a negotiated agreement will far better achieve results without unnecessarily increasing supply costs and plunging the U.S. into a trade war with China.
As history has shown, tariffs threaten to increase the cost of manufacturing in the U.S., which will in turn result in less domestic production, higher prices for American consumers, and fewer jobs for American workers. Our businesses should not be subjected to steep tariffs for conducting international commerce, which support job creation and economic growth here in America. We respectfully urge you to carefully consider the negative downstream impact these tariffs will have on the marine manufacturing industry, especially the consequences such action will have on U.S jobs and consumers.
Cc:      The Honorable Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
            The Honorable Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative
            The Honorable Lawrence Kudlow, Director of U.S. National Economic Council
            The U.S. House of Representatives
            The U.S. Senate

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Boating Matters

Boating United is a community of boating businesses, enthusiasts and supporters. Together we shape policy that affects our industry and our interests.

The recreational boating industry supports jobs, economic development and recreational activities for millions of Americans. We're not just weekend boaters; we're employers, manufacturers, taxpayers and citizens who make a difference in all 50 states. Our industry has legislative and regulatory issues that are important. Issues that affect a uniquely domestic industry that reaches millions of businesses, community members and voters.

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