The Trump administration on Friday completed its first phase of Section 301 tariffs on about $34 billion worth of Chinese products, including marine engines, navigation equipment and components.
The tariffs could be expanded to $50 billion or more.
“On one hand, we’re happy to see the Trump administration is committed to cracking down on China for stealing U.S. intellectual property, including our members’ inventions,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.
“But on the other hand, putting a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in products used by American manufacturers is the wrong solution,” he said. “Not surprisingly, with China fighting back and officially kicking off yet another trade war, recreational boating is being uniquely targeted because of our status as a true American-made industry.”
Nearly 300 marine-related products will immediately cost 25 percent more, Dammrich said.
“There is no way to simply weather the storm and see how this shakes out, as the cost of doing business for our members has instantly increased,” Dammrich said. “For some products, the additional cost to marine manufacturers will be in the thousands of dollars, resulting in employment changes, canceled expansion plans and halted growth.”
“We are having a hard time understanding why the president is choosing tariffs when they are directly putting millions of American jobs on the line, including the 650,000 supported by the U.S. recreational boating industry,” Dammrich said.
A trade war will do nothing to address intellectual property theft, he said.
“Instead of following in the footsteps of previous administrations and bringing on economic turmoil from tariffs, we need President Trump to get creative and negotiate substantive trade agreements that truly benefit American businesses, consumers and workers,” Dammrich said.