Skip to main content

Metstrade 2019: U.S. ambassador hears about the impact of EU tariffs

From Left: USSA President Kitty McGowan, NMMA President Frank Hugelmeyer, Bas Dalm, Rai Executive Vice President of Sales, and US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra.

From Left: USSA President Kitty McGowan, NMMA President Frank Hugelmeyer, Bas Dalm, Rai Executive Vice President of Sales, and US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra.

The U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, met a group of U.S. boating industry companies on opening day of Metstrade. The roundtable discussion was almost exclusively devoted to the negative impact EU tariffs have caused U.S. boatbuilders. Hoekstra is a former U.S. congressman from Michigan, whose district included S2 Yachts and Four Winns.

Tariff duties of 25 percent continue to be levied by the European Union on new U.S. boats imported to Europe. Many U.S. builders have said that the tariffs have all but stopped their exports.

“President Trump was the first president to ever hold their feet to the fire for freer trade,” Hoekstra told Trade Only Today, when asked about the EU tariffs. “The goal is to create more equity for us. Trump has at least put the issue on the radar screen.”

Hoekstra did not predict any change in the EU tariff situation in the short-term, and possibly not until after the next presidential election. “We could resolve this now, but we need to work out a fair deal first.”

Industry officials felt that Hoekstra had a better grasp on how EU tariffs are impacting U.S. boat experts after meeting with NMMA staff and companies. “He recognized the inequity of the tariffs and was not against putting pressure on both governments to address the issue,” Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs, told Trade Only Today. “At the end of the day, we emphasized that we don’t like tariffs in any form. We want to get back to free trade.”

Hoekstra later toured the U.S. Pavilion, meeting with U.S. equipment suppliers. 



Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.


DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.


NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.


Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.


Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.


RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.


An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .