Protecting American marine companies

NMMA letter to Congress outlines measures to benefit marine industry workers and businesses.

As Congress prepares its COVID-19 economic stimulus bill, members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association reviewed drafts of the legislation and have sent lawmakers an outline of policies and measures that would benefit the marine industry.

In a letter sent to Congress, the NMMA highlighted a number of measures “to further protect employees, support small businesses and allow U.S. manufacturers to reinvest in America.”

Near the top of the list, the NMMA acknowledged that tariff relief needs to be implemented and called for the removal of both Chinese tariffs as well as tariffs on aluminum and steel.

“Disruptions in the supply chain and exorbitant tariffs on $360 billion worth of products and aluminum and steel tariffs have prevented U.S. small businesses from expanding capital in the U.S. Our small businesses rely on a global supply chain and should not be subjected to steep tariffs,” the letter stated.

A several-prong approach was floated to help ensure a solid financial future for marine businesses, including providing tax credits that would help pay employees that were forced to close, a delay in federal tax payments, establishing a national small business sustainability program to support employee retention and name a small business czar that would help set guidelines for affected businesses.

Another issue — recovering funds lost due to major event and meeting cancellations. The NMMA said that these “contribute more than $446 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and directly support nearly six million jobs nationwide.”

The NMMA has had to cancel three of their major events for the year, estimating the loss at over $2 million.

The group also reiterated the necessity of keeping public lands and waters open, following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Given the significance of recreation in driving local economies, reopening access to recreation will be essential to bouncing back from economic downturn,” NMMA said.

The group also called for various bureaus to work together to waive fees on public lands and waters to further encourage use.