US locks in aluminum sheet tariffs

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Aluminum fishing boats and pontoons have led post-recession growth as some of the industry’s most value-priced vessels

Aluminum fishing boats and pontoons have led post-recession growth as some of the industry’s most value-priced vessels

The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday it made a final determination that American producers were being harmed by imports of common alloy aluminum sheet products from China, cementing the Trump administration’s tariffs on the commodity.

The ITC determination means that duties ranging from 96.3 percent to 176.2 percent previously announced by the U.S. Commerce Department would be put in place for five years, according to Reuters.

The news service cited the National Marine Manufacturers Association in its criticism of the move as boatbuilders have already faced supply shortages and seen a 30 to 40 percent cost increase in aluminum sheet, even though the majority source it domestically.

“The ITC’s approval … makes it clear that the commission and administration are not concerned by the downstream fallout of this action — consequences that have been taking a toll on multiple American industries, including marine manufacturing, since the U.S. Department of Commerce self-initiated these investigations nearly a year ago,” wrote NMMA president Thom Dammrich in a statement.

Those duties are on top of the Trump administration’s 10 percent tariff on virtually all aluminum imports.

Aluminum boats represent 44 percent of new boats sold each year and account for about 22,000 American jobs, Dammrich said.

“NMMA is calling on the Trump administration to back off their tariffs first trade policy. Very few people deny that our trading relationships, especially with China, need to be reformed, but the current strategy is counterproductive,” said Dammrich. “Striking long-term, binding agreements that foster free and fair trade is the most prudent way to protect America’s economic interests and workers.”

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