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Marine industry continues to challenge proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum

U.S.-built boats are among the items the EU has said it will impose retaliatory tariffs on should President Trump follow through with his threat to impose levies on aluminum and steel imports. Shown here is a U.S.-built Chris-Craft at the Düsseldorf boat show.

U.S.-built boats are among the items the EU has said it will impose retaliatory tariffs on should President Trump follow through with his threat to impose levies on aluminum and steel imports. Shown here is a U.S.-built Chris-Craft at the Düsseldorf boat show.

Members of Congress are stepping up their argument against imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, which President Trump has vowed to implement this week.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is working with several members of Congress, including key boating advocates, on a letter issued to the president yesterday urging him not to impose the global tariffs.

"We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports," House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and 106 other Republicans said in a letter to Trump, according to the NMMA.

“If you do impose tariffs, key elements are necessary to minimize negative consequences,” they wrote. “First, any relief should be narrow, excluding all fairly traded products and all products that do not pose a national security threat.”

“Second, a robust exclusion process should be announced at the outset that allows U.S. companies to petition for and promptly obtain duty-free access for imports that are unavailable from U.S. sources or otherwise present extenuating circumstances,” the letter said.

“Third, existing contracts to purchase aluminum or steel should be grandfathered to allow duty-free imports and avoid disrupting the operation and finances of projects that are already budgeted and underway,” the representatives wrote.

Trump announced his plans last week to impose the tariffs.

Those aluminum duties are separate from the Department of Commerce anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation on common alloy aluminum sheet from China, which could result in an additional 56 percent anti-dumping and 40 percent countervailing duty.

In response, the European Union announced Tuesday its plans to impose retaliatory tariffs on many popular U.S. imports — including recreational boats — sparking concern of a pending trade war with U.S. allies.

Trump is expected make the announcement today or Friday.

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