Recreational boating in the US generated around US$170bn in spending last year

Members of Congress were briefed on Wednesday about the economic impact of recreational boating on the US economy at an event launching the latest economic data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

The bi-partisan Congressional Boating Caucus is made up of members of the House of Representatives who have a particular interest in the fate of the recreational boating industry.

Representatives were reminded that while made up largely of small businesses, boating has a big economic impact; generating some US$170bn in spending last year and accounting for 691,000 jobs with 35,000 businesses across all 50 states.

Representatives from NMMA member companies – including Kevin Grodzki of Brunswick, David Slikkers of Tiara Yachts, Bill Yeargin of Correct Craft, and Joan Maxwell of Regulator Marine – discussed issues facing the marine manufacturing industry and their outlook for business growth in the years ahead.

Chief among those issues are the headwinds from Section 232 tariffs and retaliatory tariffs on boat exports that are affecting the industry’s bottom line.

“We’re here today to tell you that boating is more than fun,” Regulator’s Joan Maxwell is quoted by NMMA as telling Caucus members. “What we really want you to understand is that it’s about people going to work, and we need your help to ensure these people keep going to work.”

The next major Washington, DC event is the American Boating Congress in mid-May, where industry representatives will be meeting with their individual law makers to advocate for the industry’s positions.