The annual American Boating Congress is held in May and is presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. This 2018 event was May 9-11 in Washington, D.C., and talking points included recreational fishing, trade policy, fuel policy and infrastructure challenges. The attendees learned about the issues facing the marine industry from various experts.
Speakers included: Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday host), Lucas Hitt (US Bureau of Economic Analysis), Chat Moutray (National Association of Manufacturers), Capt. Jennifer Williams (US Coast Guard), Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet (Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce of Oceans & Atmosphere). Elected officials addressing the attendees included: Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH 3), Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN 2), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL 13), Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI 10) and Rep. Garret Graves (LA 6).
The representatives of Groupe Beneteau attended meetings with elected officials from Michigan, Maryland and South Carolina (where the company has facilities). From Michigan, they met with Representative John Moolenaar (MI-4). They met with staffers of Representative Paul Mitchell (MI-10), Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Senator Debbie Stabenow. Discussion included recreational fishing, trade policy, fuel policy and infrastructure challenges – as well as workforce challenges.
Networking events provided opportunities to discuss the challenges that the industry is facing from the manufacture to retail sale of the product. New for the 2018 event was an added millennial event designed to grow the impact of the next generation of leaders for the industry. As a result of our meetings, Representative John Moolenaar (MI 4) will be visiting the Cadillac, Michigan facilities for Groupe Beneteau on May 31, 2019.