Part of the agreement calls for EU exports of steel and aluminum to become duty-free again. The National Marine Manufacturers Association NMMA is celebrating this as a victory for the American recreational boating industry. European boat builders and parts suppliers should now also be able to breathe a sigh of relief again.
The U.S. and the European Union have defused their dispute over punitive tariffs dating back to the era of former President Donald Trump, Handelsblatt reported on Oct. 31; U.S. President Joe Biden and EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced the agreement on Sunday, Oct. 31, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Rome.
This was preceded by “long and intensive negotiations,” as confirmed by the EU’s chief negotiator, Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for trade policy. Under the agreement, European steel and aluminum exports will remain duty-free if they are within a certain size range.
EU also withdraws retaliatory tariffs on boats and yachts
This is based on trade volumes from before 2018, the year then-U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the safeguard tariffs. Only when that level is exceeded will U.S. tariffs become due. Trade experts refer to this as a tariff-rate quota. In return, the EU is withdrawing the retaliatory tariffs it had imposed on US products such as whiskey and motorcycles, but also on boats and yachts.
Praise had come mainly from the European business community. According to handelsblatt, Markus Beyrer, director general of the business association Business Europe, spoke of “very good news”, “as companies are currently faced with rising raw material costs and bottlenecks in the supply chain”.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association NMMA also expressed praise after the agreement was announced. “Since their first days in office, President Biden and Ambassador Tai have pledged to resolve the U.S.-EU trade dispute that has hurt the U.S. boatbuilding industry, and today we applaud and thank them for keeping that promise,” Frank Hugelmeyer, president of NMMA, told boatingindustry.com
America’s boatbuilders suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales
America’s boatbuilders, he said, have been a “collateral damage of this trade conflict for more than three years, resulting in a 50 percent drop in exports m our industry’s second-largest international market and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales.”
“This agreement is a significant victory for the recreational boating industry – which represents the largest segment of the $788 billion outdoor recreation industry and supports nearly 700,000 U.S. jobs and more than 35,000 businesses,” Frank Hugelmeyer continued. He added that thanks to the leadership of President Biden and his administration, they are now “no longer at a structural disadvantage to international competitors.”
Hugelmeyer was referring to the complete elimination of the 25 percent so-called retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S.-made boats and engines in the EU. Since the tariffs were imposed in 2018, he said, the NMMA team has devoted “significant attention and resources” to resolving the issue, and the tariffs have resulted in “hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales.”
The trade war has created significant headwinds for the yacht industry
Bill Yeargin, CEO of Correct Craft and a panelist at the ELEVATE Summit Conference on the state of the recreational boating industry in America, said “The trade war over the past few years has created significant headwinds for the yacht industry.”It has had to fight the trade war on two fronts simultaneously: first, with the increased tariffs on imported parts, and second, with the retaliatory tariffs on boats from both Canada and the EU.
Yacht and engine manufacturers from the U.S. to return to boot in January
The signals are also being received extremely positively in Germany: Petros Michelidakis, project director of the largest indoor water sports show, boot, explained at the Media Meeting on 10. November that at the fair in Düsseldorf coming up in January 2022, all 17 halls are already very well booked, and that the fair management is very pleased that American companies will again be increasingly represented at the boat show. #boot2022
Statistica.com had reported the import value of U.S. products affected by retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union last year at $954.8 million for steel, $645.2 million for bourbon and whiskey, and $384.1 million for cosmetics. The import value had then been $370.6 million for motorboats and yachts.