Boats Spared from Preliminary List of New Canadian Retaliatory Tariffs

Following the Trump administration’s decision to reimpose tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, the Canadian government announced that it will impose dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. Unlike the previous aluminum and steel tariff dispute between the two countries, U.S. boats were not included on the initial list of products that will be subject to the countermeasure, which NMMA and NMMA Canada worked proactively to ensure.

While NMMA and NMMA Canada opposed the new tariffs on Canadian aluminum, the trade groups applauded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for exempting U.S. boat imports from the retaliatory tariffs. Prior to this latest trade conflict, NMMA and NMMA Canada sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Prime Minster Trudeau warning about the harm new tariffs will cause, which received a direct response from Prime Trudeau’s office.

“The recreational boating industry learned painful lessons when Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and subsequent retaliatory measures were imposed in spring 2018. Following the implementation of these tariffs, U.S. boat exports to Canada dropped by 26 percent, which continued throughout the period the tariffs remained in place. In the U.S., boat manufacturers suffered a significant decrease in sales to their largest international market. Similarly, Canadian dealers faced an uphill battle selling inventory and some were eventually forced to write-off unsold ‘tariffed inventory,’ resulting in lost revenue for marine businesses and the government’s coffers.

“In the end, the Canadian government removed U.S. boats from the counter-tariffs list because of the severe damage it was doing to the industry and economy. However, several side effects from these actions continue to linger and a relapse to these failed policies will only create more economic hardship and uncertainly on both sides of the border.”

NMMA and NMMA Canada will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as the situation evolves. For more information, please contact NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org, NMMA Canada president, Sara Anghel at sanghel@nmma.org, NMMA Canada director of federal and provincial government relations, Jim Wielgosz at jwielgosz@nmma.org, or NMMA director of federal government relations, Clay Crabtree at ccrabtree@nmma.org.