CHICAGO, June 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. boat makers Wednesday urged President Donald Trump to immediately withdraw high tariffs on alloy aluminum sheet imports from China, saying these "harmful policies" will cost American industries dearly.
"The administration claims their trade policies aim to level the playing field for American workers, but instead these actions could hobble thriving industries like recreational boating," said Thom Dammrich, president of the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
According to the NMMA, after the administration's announcement on Monday, common alloy aluminum sheet imports from China will now face a total tariff of at least 210 percent, which includes a 167 percent anti-dumping duty, a countervailing duty of at least 33 percent, and a 10 percent Section 232 tariff on all aluminum imports.
"In an attempt to punish China, the Administration is wreaking havoc on the global economy. These harmful policies will have costly effects across American industries, but few are being singled out quite like the U.S. recreational boating industry," said Dammrich in a statement.
In addition, roughly 300 products commonly used in recreational boats are now subject to a 25 percent tariff, following a recent announcement of Section 301 tariffs on approximately 50 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese products.
Worse still, Canada, the European Union and Mexico -- which account for 69 percent of annual U.S. boat exports -- have announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. boats of 10, 25 and 15 percent, respectively.
The association said that 650,000 jobs created by the marine manufacturing industry depend on free and fair trade.
However, the Trump administration's new tariff policy is "actually punishing uniquely American manufacturing industries and has driven up costs for American manufacturers and consumers, antagonized long-standing trade partners, and nearly eliminated our key export markets."
Aluminum boats represent 44 percent of new U.S. boat sales each year and account for 3 billion dollars in retail sales. NMMA argues that these tariffs are disrupting the global aluminum market.
The association has set up an online petition page and urged its members to sign the letter and let their voices be heard.
"Take action now and tell President Trump to make a deal that immediately withdraws these tariffs," the petition says.