Boating sector calls for urgent resolution of EU-US tariff dispute

European Boating Industry tariffs

With the reimposition of tariffs in the transatlantic steel and aluminium dispute set to kick in on 1 January 2024, 87 trade associations representing various sectors have cosigned a statement urging US and EU leaders to reach an agreement to permanently remove all retaliatory tariffs on products unrelated to these disputes.

For the boating industry, it has been signed by the European Boating Industry (EBI) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

U.S. and EU negotiators failed to reach an agreement at a summit in October on measures to address overcapacity in non-market economies, such as China, and promote greener steel.

The Biden administration had suspended the tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 on condition that a deal was reached by the end of October.

“The prospect of the return and increase of retaliatory tariffs in the steel and aluminium dispute, barely a month away, is causing unbearable uncertainty and instability for unrelated sectors,” says the joint statement.

“Between 2018 and 2021, our industries and supply chains were severely impacted by the imposition of tariffs in disputes wholly unrelated to our sectors. We applauded the crucial agreements EU and US leaders reached to suspend tariffs in 2021. These agreements provided important relief for our sectors, supported economic recovery after the difficult Covid period, and removed barriers to trade.

“We hoped that a resolution of the steel and aluminium dispute would have been reached at the EU-US Presidential Summit on 20 October. We now face the prospect of the reimposition of duties on our products, ingredients, and raw materials in the steel and aluminium dispute to the amount of more than €1.3bn ($1.43bn) as of 1 January 2024.

“Therefore, we urge US and EU leaders to prioritise securing the permanent removal of these debilitating tariffs on sectors unrelated to the steel and aluminium and large civil aircraft disputes. This would allow our members to strengthen the transatlantic trading relationship, which is critical to our industries, and to tackle pressing common challenges together in a spirit of unity.

“If the permanent removal of tariffs on sectors unrelated to the disputes is not possible at this time, a further suspension of duties in the steel and aluminium dispute is necessary and should be announced without delay. The suspension should be long enough to provide affected sectors with long-term predictability.”

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