International Boating Industry Stakeholders Urge President-Elect Biden to Resolve U.S., E.U. Trade Dispute

Late last month, NMMA, the European Boating Industry (EBI), and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) sent a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden congratulating him on his election victory and calling on him to swiftly address trade relations between Europe and the U.S. Following the Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, the E.U. responded by levying a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on a range of American made products – including boats and engines – which has significantly reduced U.S. boat exports to Europe.

“As you are aware, the U.S. section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs caused a ripple effect, not only increasing the price of raw materials for manufacturers, but resulting in retaliatory action by our top trading partners, such as the E.U,” wrote the organizations. “Since 2018, the E.U. placed a twenty five percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. boat exports, decimating our industries top export market. Exports are down over forty percent year over year, resulting in over a $400 million loss to U.S companies. The impact of these tariffs is also seen in Europe, as it has disrupted retail sales and distribution networks.”

The letter continued, “We strongly urge you to remove the section 232 metal tariffs and normalize relations with the EU in your first hundred days. This decisive action will support U.S business and foster the economic recovery your administration hopes to achieve. Additionally, given Brexit and the U.K.’s recent announcement of consultation on retaliatory efforts from the metal tariffs, we urge your administration to swiftly use the opportunity to work with the UK to avoid further escalation of this incessantly trade war.

“As you look for additional trade actions to bolster recovery, we support renewed multilateral discussions, particularly between the EU and the US. Our organizations believe reducing technical barriers to trade, such as regulatory conformity, standards harmonization, and mutual recognition are important actions the EU and US should review to reduce barriers for SMEs.”

Click here to read the full letter.

For more information, please contact NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org.