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BOATING INDUSTRY ANTICIPATES HIGHER SALES, MORE JOBS WITH NAFTA'S PASSAGE

 CHICAGO, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- American boat builders are looking forward to increased sales in Mexico with passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) last night in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the few U.S. manufacturing industries with a favorable balance of trade, boat builders called on allies in Congress to weigh in their support with President Clinton on the trade deal. Primed from its recent Congressional success on repeal of the boat luxury tax, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) mobilized a grassroots campaign within the industry to back White House efforts across the country to win affirmative votes on NAFTA.
 "Our industry stands to gain over $75 million in annual sales over the next five years with NAFTA's elimination of the 20 percent Mexican tariff on boats," estimated NMMA President Jeff Napier. "That means an additional 5,000 production jobs in this country. We're pleased that Congress and the administration realize the importance of opening up new markets," stated Napier.
 Marine manufacturers relied heavily on exports during the recent recession to sustain jobs and businesses that would have otherwise been lost to bankruptcy had they been dependent on domestic markets alone. According to a recent survey of NMMA members who account for 95 percent of domestic boat production, 75 percent are active exporters with some selling as much as 25 to 50 percent of their production outside the United States.
 Mexico presents one of the marine industry's brightest new market opportunities. With current annual sales of only $10 million, little domestic production of recreational boats and ideal cruising grounds, Mexico's boat market is poised for growth. However, an NMMA trade delegation which traveled to Mexico City last summer seeking to boost distribution for U.S. boating products found that the 20 percent Mexican import tariff on boats created a price barrier for local distributors and dealers. NAFTA's passage reduces those barriers and will spur local job growth in service and support sectors as new boating communities develop in Mexico.
 -0- 11/18/93
 /CONTACT: Arlene Sloan of the National Marine Manufas? Association, 312-836-4747/


CO: National Marine Manufacturers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: MAR SU: EXE LEG

MH-IH -- DC025 -- 6051 11/18/93 12:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1993
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