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NMMA ramps up activities at Republican convention

Members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association are in Tampa, Fla., and set to educate attendees of the Republican National Convention regarding the economic importance of the marine industry to the overall economy.

The group had tentatively planned to go ahead today with its water events, provided the weather cooperated, Lauren Dunn, public relations manager for NMMA’s government relations office, told Soundings Trade Only this morning.

“If it does look good, we will try and have some water events because it looks like the majority of the storm has passed,” Dunn told Trade Only. “We’ll definitely try to incorporate them if we can, but it’s not something we’re going to push if it’s not safe.”

Indoors or out, the NMMA will go ahead and host an afternoon reception today honoring the Congressional Boating Caucus, including boat demonstrations, information about the economics of the recreational boating industry and an opportunity to meet with industry leaders.

The company hopes to immerse delegates, members of Congress and staff in the boating lifestyle, helping them to better understand the impact that recreational boat, engine and accessory manufacturing has on the U.S. economy.

The group has invited some manufacturers to join, highlighting the small-business aspect of the industry, as well as the positive trade balance for exports — two prevalent themes in political discourse lately.

Recreational boating is a uniquely American manufacturing industry, with 83 percent of boats sold domestically manufactured here, and an important contributor to the U.S. economy with a $72 billion annual economic impact and an estimated 350,000 direct American jobs.

Marine manufacturing has a particularly strong impact on the state of Florida, ranked first for new powerboat, motor, trailer and accessories sales. In 2010, there were 914,535 registered recreational boats in the state. Total retail sales for new powerboats, boat motors, trailers and accessories in 2010 totaled more than $1.1 billion, providing about 30,065 boatbuilding and related manufacturing jobs.

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