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Industry leaders meet with congressmen

Correct Craft hosted industry leaders and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan to talk about tax reform and trade.

Correct Craft hosted industry leaders and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan to talk about tax reform and trade.

Two Florida marine businesses invited members of Congress to their plants last week to discuss the impact of tariffs, among other issues.

Correct Craft hosted a roundtable of industry leaders who met with U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., on issues related to tax reform and global trade. Magic Tilt Trailers hosted Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., to discuss workforce shortages and tariffs.

Rep. Buchanan, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and chairman of its Tax Policy Subcommittee, has been asked by House Speaker Paul Ryan to survey business leaders to recommend improvements to the tax reform bill passed late last year.

The group shared with Rep. Buchanan the challenges companies are having with U.S. tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs from our trading partners. They also shared suggested improvements and benefits from the tax reform bill.

Correct Craft then hosted industry leaders from around Florida for a panel discussion on the same topics moderated by Florida chamber president Mark Wilson. That group included Jeff Smith from Chaparral Boats, Greg Lentine from Norcross Marine Products, Duane Kuck from Regal Boats, Bill Watters with Syntec Industries, and Linwood Parker of Parker Boats.

“Our team was honored to host Rep. Buchanan as he met with leaders from both the boating industry and then leaders from across the state of Florida,” said Correct Craft president and CEO Bill Yeargin in a statement. “We appreciate Rep. Buchanan listening to the leaders’ concerns and particularly for his interest regarding the impact of the global trade war on the boating industry.”

Magic Tilt Trailers’ president and CEO Craig Clawson met with Rep. Crist to discuss key issues facing the industry, particularly tariffs and worker shortages. “Tariffs are pushing up our costs, forcing us to increase our prices and squeezing our margins,” said Clawson in a statement issued by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

After the meeting, Crist toured the plant and chatted with employees.

“We appreciate the Congressman’s visit,” Clawson said. “We were able to show him our plant, talk to our people and discuss some the major challenges we are facing, particularly rising costs (tariffs) and the shortage of skilled labor.” 

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