European boating associations to EU President: Trade dispute has “frozen” U.S. boat imports

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Piero Formenti, EBI president, has warned about the impact on Europe’s boating industry after the EU instituted retaliatory tariffs against U.S. boat builders.

Piero Formenti, EBI president, has warned about the impact on Europe’s boating industry after the EU instituted retaliatory tariffs against U.S. boat builders.

Heads of the European and international boating associations have written the president of the European Union, expressing concern about tariffs that have “frozen” the importation of U.S.-built boats. The associations said they are working with NMMA towards a “de-escalation” of the growing trade war between the U.S. and Europe.

Piero Formenti, president of the European Boating Industry (EBI) and Andrea Razeto, President of ICOMIA, sent a joint letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union on June 22. They said the “escalating trade dispute” between the U.S. and its allies will have a negative impact on the E.U. boating industry.

“Nobody wins in a trade war,” the association heads wrote. “The recreational boating industry shoulders the negative consequences as demand for our products is highly elastic and sensitive to even small changes.” Piero and Razeto urged Juncker to work “collaboratively” with the U.S. administration to achieve a “reasonable and balanced resolution” that does not threaten boating industry growth.

“The ongoing trade dispute has effectively frozen the export market and is leading to marine dealers in the E.U. to cancel orders of U.S. built boats, which also has dramatic adverse effects on boat dealers and services in the EU,” wrote the authors, adding that the global marine industry will suffer as a result.

“While we understand the need to remain strong against U.S. actions, we urge reasonableness and consideration of the harmful and inequitable impact tariffs and retaliatory action will have on boating businesses, workers and consumers in the E.U.,” wrote Formenti and Razeto.

NMMA Canada and Canadian marine trade associations sent a similar letter to Canadian President Justin Trudeau last week. 

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