Canada Foreign Minister acknowledges boating industry concerns in looming trade war

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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has heard boating industry worries about upcoming tariffs

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has heard boating industry worries about upcoming tariffs

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged boating-industry concerns about Canadian tariffs on U.S.-manufactured boats that are set to go into effect on July 1.

Freeland was speaking to Committee of International Trade in the Canadian House of Commons when she was asked a question by a member about the boating tariffs. She responded: “I have heard from people in the boating sector and that is feedback that we are taking very seriously. I’ve heard the concerns of the boating industry.”

Sara Anghel, president of NMMA Canada, said the trade group was pleased that the boating industry’s message has reached the highest levels of government. NMMA Canada and every marine trade group in the country sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently, underscoring the challenges Canadian marine businesses will face with the upcoming tariffs.

“We’ve flooded the federal government with letters and have undertaken a grass-roots effort on this issue, so every member of Parliament has an understanding,” Anghel told Trade Only Today. “We’ve also had dealers in every part of Canada contact their provincial premiers about this issue.”

Canada imports about 65 percent of boats sold at retail from the U.S. The incoming tariffs would add 10 percent to the cost of the boat. “We’re very concerned about the short-term impact of the tariffs because many of the dealers might be forced to eat the extra costs,” she said. “We’ve asked the Prime Minister that if they cannot leave recreational boats off the tariff list, then we would like them to give us a six-month grace period. That would allow dealers who ordered boats six months ago to be able to import the boats now and not suffer a penalty.”

Anghel said that many Canadian dealers have either cancelled or tried to cancel orders from U.S. boat builders in anticipation of the extra costs the tariffs would place on new boats.

NMMA Canada also asked the government to refund any tariffs that might come into effect on July 1, if the U.S. and Canadian governments settle the issue in the coming months. 

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