|FYI — August 2002|
|By Brad Dunn|
to Fee You
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the E.U. aims to establish new tariffs if and when the Word Trade Organization decides on the U.S. steel tariff case, a ruling that is expected next year. If no ruling is made, the E.U. could impose the tariffs in March 2005 on many American-made powerboats, sailboats, RIBs, canoes, and dinghies.
Industry experts say the proposed tariff--which could tack on as much as 30 percent to an American boat's sales price--would deal a severe blow to an already slowed-down U.S. boat market abroad. "The overvalued dollar has already created a 30 percent price disadvantage for U.S. manufacturers, costing up to 50 percent of their European market share in the past two years alone," says Arlene Baxter, NMMA's director of industry and international programs.
Moreover, the new tariffs would likely boomerang on Europe. The United States has already said it may retaliate on an E.U. tariff by enacting its own tariffs on similar imports, if the E.U. imposes the proposed tax.
"E.U. countries sell more boats to the U.S. than vice versa, so a trade war would be bad for boat manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic," Baxter says.
The NMMA, which predicts widespread job losses and damage to local and federal economies if the tariffs are enacted, is petitioning members of the E.U. as well as the U.S. Congress to forego the plans.
For more information, log on to www.nmma.org and click on the "Making Waves" button.
SHELVES The Rebel Raiders
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.