From 10% to 60% tax on aluminium
US President Donald Trump announced the introduction of an import tax of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. The trade war he is starting through this decision with the European Union, China and many other countries, could have consequences on the American boating industry.
To the global tax could be added within a few months an additional customs tariff raising the rate to more than 60% on Chinese aluminium, following an anti-dumping procedure by the Department of Commerce.
A key material in US boating
While aluminium is used in Europe for niche yachts such as sailing boats and certain motorboats for leisure fishing, it is a king material on the other side of the Atlantic. The builders of the famous American pontoon boats are big consumers of grey metal. According to Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the leading trade union, 111,000 aluminum boats are produced each year. They represent 43% of motor boats sold annually.
Lack of aluminum Made in USA
Today, it is difficult for US shipyards to obtain supplies in their country, says Thom Dammrich. "US aluminum producers are at full capacity and are unable to supply the large aluminum sheets used by our members, forcing them to seek it abroad."
Thom Dammrich, expresses the concern of the profession for the durability of the US nautical employment. "The introduction of these aluminum taxes will increase the price of aluminum used to build more than 111,000 boats. The aluminium sheets that our members are forced to buy abroad will probably continue to run out, destroying our members' ability to build boats in the USA. As a result, the jobs of American workers who build these boats, engines and equipment are now in danger."