Washington, D.C. – At a Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Senator Susan Collins expressed concern to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai that the European Union’s proposed retaliatory tariffs on recreational boats would have an adverse impact on small shipyards in Maine. To protect boat manufacturers, she strongly encouraged USTR to push back against these retaliatory tariffs.
“As a result of the worldwide Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which my colleagues have all mentioned today, the European Union is set to double retaliatory tariffs to 50 percent on certain imported products, including recreational boats, on June 1st. This would have an adverse impact on boat builders in the State of Maine,” said Senator Collins. “Is the Administration working with the EU to prevent this increase from taking place?”
USTR Tai assured Senator Collins that the Administration is “engaging with [its] European Union counterparts” on this issue.
Separately, Senator Collins urged USTR Tai to prioritize the renewal of the softwood lumber agreement.
“We've seen lumber prices go sky high. We obviously prefer domestic sources, but when domestic sources can't meet the demand, as is the case right now and prices are so high, we desperately need a new agreement to be negotiated so that we're not involved in imposing countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports,” said Senator Collins. “We want Canada to play by the rules, but we need a new agreement.”