Correct Craft CEO: Trade war will “risk our industry’s promising future”

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The CEO of Correct Craft has penned an op-ed in today’s Washington Examiner warning that the Trump Administration’s implementation of tariffs puts “American industries and their workers” at risk. Bill Yeargin’s Op-Ed is one of several that have appeared recently, highlighting the U.S. boating industry’s challenges with tariffs for a mainstream audience.

“Our team of nearly 1,300 workers is proud that we build products in the U.S. that are desired around the world,” wrote Yeargin. “While we import some materials for our boats, our company is a significant net exporter. It’s something we, and other marine manufacturers, are proud of: Great, American-made products.”

Despite strong boat sales and the recent tax reform, Yeargin wrote he is now “less optimistic” about the industry’s future. “We have found ourselves in the crosshairs of a trade war, one that will drown out the effects of tax reform and risk our industry’s promising future, taking American workers and consumers down with it,” he wrote.

Yeargin wrote that the collective tariffs have continued to drive up prices on boats while hampering exports. “Canada, Mexico, and the European Union — which account for 69 percent of total recreational boating exports and the majority of Correct Craft’s foreign sales — have implemented retaliatory tariffs of 10 percent, 15 percent, and 25 percent respectively,” he wrote. “These new tariffs are going to make it more difficult to sell boats around the world — and this puts the industry’s $1.8 billion in recreational boat and engine exports and the jobs of Americans in jeopardy.”

Yeargin said that many non-U.S. distributors have canceled their orders for U.S.-built boats. “I urge the administration to recognize these harmful impacts and instead focus on global trade to quickly seek negotiated trade agreements that will benefit Americans,” he wrote. “The well-being of the men and women who work in our proud American manufacturing industry, and their families, are counting on it.” 

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