With the government back open, the NMMA is urging all trade representatives to get back to the table swiftly
The longest government shutdown in US history ended last week with a stop-gap funding measure that will keep federal agencies working until February 15. But the month-long stalemate resulted in an US$11bn hit to the US economy, creating several challenges to the recreational boating industry, according to an analysis released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
On the trade front, negotiations with China, the EU, UK, and other key markets were delayed during the shutdown. The recreational boating industry has been hit hard by the trade war and NMMA believes negotiated agreements are the best way out of these conflicts. With the government back open, the NMMA is urging all trade representatives to get back to the table swiftly.
NMMA advocacy staff were able to begin meeting the nearly 100 new legislators elected last November despite the shutdown and will continue briefing new members in the weeks ahead.
Various permitting processes through the Environmental Protection Agency were also impacted by the furlough. As a result, the government was unable to approve waiver requests sought by manufacturers, NMMA reported and additionally, the shutdown caused serious problems for the outdoor recreation industry.
Cancelled visits to federal recreation sites resulted in both public and private sector losses, which will take a great deal of time to recover. In addition, the shutdown exacerbated the $11bn public lands and waters maintenance backlog.
Outdoor recreation accounts for 2.2% of the US economy, accounting for 4.6 million jobs and US$887bn in consumer spending.
NMMA is encouraging federal leaders to reach a long-term agreement that keeps the government open beyond the middle of February.