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NMMA schedules webinar on aluminum-sheet price issue

A tax increase on aluminum sheet could affect the prices of pontoons and aluminum fishing boats.

A tax increase on aluminum sheet could affect the prices of pontoons and aluminum fishing boats.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is holding a special webinar to update the industry about a potential cost increase on aluminum sheet.

The webinar, which will take place Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. EST, will discuss a huge potential price increase, caused by a move the U.S. Department of Commerce made in November.

If the Trump administration chooses, it could impose an import duty of as much as 60 percent on Chinese aluminum — a significant price burden on manufacturers. Attorneys from the law firm Mowry & Grimson will participate, along with the NMMA.

The increase would affect builders of aluminum boats and components, the NMMA told Trade Only last month.

The NMMA was among the groups that testified before the International Trade Commission against the proposal, saying there is not enough domestic supply to meet boatbuilder demand.

“I'm kind of unclear as to why it is that the Commerce Department would actively try to threaten our industry by cutting off the supply of a critical raw material,” especially given its slow recovery from the recession, said NMMA senior vice president of government relations John McKnight in a transcript of the testimony.

The next step will be for the Department of Commerce to investigate exporters in China, and they will request information regarding pricing and alleged subsidies to calculate a tariff that will be applied to those exports.

At the end of that process the ITC will re-examine the domestic industry.

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