NMMA: Ratcheting up tariffs is “misguided”

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is speaking out against proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods including fiberglass, inflatable boats, and trailer tires.

The administration announced Saturday that it will proceed with implementing additional Section 301 tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods this year with an increase to 25 percent at the beginning of 2019, and also said it would prepare to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods.

“While the preliminary 10 percent tariff is better than the eventual 25 percent tariff, this silver lining is not a reason to celebrate,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “We go from feeling optimistic that China and the U.S. will hold meaningful discussions and deescalate the trade war on one day. But the next day, the Trump Administration announces that they are moving forward with tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products – including fiberglass, inflatable boats, and trailer tires.

“Rather than moving us closer to a deal that will stop China from taking advantage of American companies, today’s actions and ongoing uncertainty are hurting U.S. businesses and putting our economy at an even greater disadvantage,” Dammrich said.

The recreational boating industry is one of the few remaining American-made industries, and like all other domestic manufacturing sectors, relies on international suppliers for some components, materials and parts — many of which have never been or are no longer produced in the United States, Dammrich said.

“The administration’s actions have directly jeopardized these essential global supply chains, and with it, American businesses, jobs, and the economy,” Dammrich said.

“To make matters worse, President Trump recently instructed his administration to prepare tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods,” said Dammrich. “If this were to occur, nearly every single product imported from China would be hit with a tariff. To put it another way, that would mean tens of billions of dollars in new taxes on American businesses and consumers.”

The association applauded the Trump administration for cracking down on China for its “numerous infractions,” adding that the penalties were long overdue.

“However, ratcheting up tariffs on the heels of what could be a significant breakthrough in the trade war is misguided,” said Dammrich. “Continuing this approach will not prevent China from employing unfair trade practices. It will only hamstring American businesses and the people they employ.”

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