Dealer Outlook

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Cuban announcement could impact boating

President Trump will head for Miami Friday where he’s expected to roll back some of the Obama administration’s initiatives to improve relations with Cuba, apparently siding with those who oppose détente and putting aside calls from U.S. businesses that see Cuba as a lucrative future market.

The coming battle for federal bucks

President Trump this week sent his 2018 fiscal-year budget to Congress. As fast as it came to life, it’s gotten panned by Democrats and Republicans alike. And, while it’s loaded with a new wave of spending cuts, it really means nothing.

Danko takes the helm at the NMTC

Melissa Danko, executive director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, took over the helm of the National Marine Trades Council at the group’s spring meeting Monday in Washington, D.C. The NMTC meeting coincided with the opening of the American Boating Congress.

Mark your voice heard today on E15

Dealers and their staff are taking time today to let U.S. senators know that adding more ethanol to America’s gas supply is unsupportable for the 12 million boats and millions of other off-road engines in use today.

The battle for boating interests in Michigan

I can’t count the times I have written that our marine trade associations do for dealers what they couldn’t hope to do by themselves. So I say that again and support it by citing what the Michigan Boating Industries Association is tackling these days.

The time for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending is now

Citing the lengthy process involved in building a “simple highway,” President Trump told 52 business leaders at the White House that he plans to cut red tape and jump-start infrastructure projects by eliminating more than 90 percent of the regulations involved while still providing for safety.

Will budget cuts hit the marine industry hard?

The economic enthusiasm for the Trump administration is quickly turning to concern about whose favorite programs will see serious cuts or disappear entirely. For the marine industry, it’s likely we’ll face hard decisions about where to put our legislative muscle and where to abandon a position that can’t succeed.

Is swipe fee reform dead?

Last summer, Republicans took aim at financial reform by proposing legislative action to replace Dodd-Frank with the Financial Choice Act. The proposal included a repeal of the hard-won debit-card swipe fees reform that more fairly set what’s paid by retailers. Should we expect it to happen this year?

Environmental legislation we can agree on

I like to write about something Congress does that we can applaud, although it happens about as often as Colin Kaepernick is named “Patriot of the Year” by the local VFW. However, sometime this week President Obama is expected to sign the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, legislation that holds some provisions that can […]

Bill could mean the end of swipe-fee reform

In a first step to jettison parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday voted for the Financial CHOICE Act of 2016. Dodd-Frank, you’ll recall, was Congress’s response to the 2008 financial debacle.

Algae problems have run amuck

A regular reader of Dealer Outlook once commented: “Norm, I can’t believe you are for more regulations.” He was right. I’m definitely not. But when it’s becomes necessary to get less talk and more action, regulation could be the best answer.

Florida fishing-boat customers under attack

“Fishing boat sales in Florida plummet.” That’s a headline I hope never to write, but it’s a very real possibility for dealers who sell fishing boats if anti-fishing interests succeed in plans to deny us access to large areas along Florida’s coast.

Leadership changes at SOBA

Due to a technical problem, please click here to be redirected to the July 28 Dealer Outlook blog “Is there a middle class in our future?” Bernice McArdle is ending an outstanding 16-year career with the National Marine Manufacturers Association in which she has served in multiple key positions. While her list of accomplishments is […]

Overtime regulations and the spread of E15

It hasn’t been a good week if you’re a believer that businesses are already overburdened with regulations and that the potential for our customers to misfuel their boats with E15 is becoming more alarming.

Cheap gas and the effect on ethanol

We paid the cheapest quarterly gas prices in 12 years during the January-March quarter of 2016 and it’s fueling expectations that boats will see much more running time during this boating season. Meanwhile, ethanol continues to be a curse on boating and we might just be losing the war against it.

Florida anchoring bill faces vote today

The Florida state legislature will set a terrible anti-boating precedent with an expected vote sometime today on a bill (HB 1051) banning overnight anchoring in selected areas. All Florida boating interests should oppose the action right now.

Support new status for manatees

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to “downlist” the West Indian manatee from endangered to a less-serious status of threatened and the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association is calling on its members — and all boating interests — to support this action in public comments now.

Senator addresses Lake Erie trade group

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told nearly 100 attendees at the annual meeting of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association that significant progress was made in 2015 on issues that impact the marine industry, particularly on the Great Lakes and Lake Erie.

A call to revise the ethanol mandate

When 42 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives says it’s time to revise the ethanol mandate in this country, it’s time for the Environmental Protection Agency to heed the call.

Hope for an end to the ethanol debacle?

If you’re like Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders who is “sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails,” then you are just a likely fed up hearing about the ethanol debacle. But the announcement last week of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition’s new campaign, dubbed “Inconvenient Facts,” brings to mind the possibility that biobutanol […]

Ready for the EMV chip?

New and more secure credit cards are on the way, but liability for fraudulent use is shifting from banks to retailers, who need to decide whether they want to buy point-of-sale units with chip-reading technology.

MTAs always give members a good ROI

It’s often things that marine trades associations make certain don’t happen that members overlook when evaluating their membership’s return on investment. And MTAs often fail to adequately make known what they stopped. A good case in point: the Boating Associations of Ohio.

United industry front forms in Florida again

No state has more marine industry associations with more political clout than Florida does with its eight. And setting the stage to reinvigorate that power was what a recent summit meeting in Sarasota was called to accomplish.

Will Congress or the courts end the ethanol battle?

If one desires to be an equal-opportunity annoyer, just issue the long-awaited revised ethanol volume figures under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Congrats to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pissing off everyone. Perhaps that’s exactly the intent?

Good news for Discover Boating and Magnuson-Stevens

The industry’s Discover Boating national campaign continues to pursue its mission — to inspire and motivate people to get out on the water — with the release of a new video in the “Stories of Discovery” series. It brings to six the number of videos now available.

These issues should top ABC agenda

The marine industry and its many partners are in Washington, D.C., this week for the American Boating Congress. They’re telling lawmakers about the the importance of the nation’s recreational boating industry and its overall $121 billion annual economic impact, 35,000 small businesses and the 650,000 jobs it impacts.

Cost of new overtime rules will be high

Here’s an idea: since Congress has refused to raise the minimum wage, let’s run an end around by changing the rules regarding who qualifies for overtime pay. It’s the latest philosophy coming out of the White House, a move that will ensure the U.S. can fly a regulation-nation banner.

ABC and MDCE have offers you can’t refuse

An important webinar about the upcoming American Boating Congress from May 11-13 and the deadline for big savings on the registration fee for this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which runs Nov. 15-18 are both worth checking out now.

Marine council sets MRAA political agenda

The Advisory Council of Marine Associations recently submitted its annual resolutions for political action to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the board endorsed the recommendations.

Online retailers’ tax-free days are numbered

Are we approaching a time when Internet sellers will be required to collect sales tax on all sales in the same way brick-and-mortar retailers do? It appears the issue is alive again following two related events that came down last month.

All taxes are not created equal

Some taxes are good and some are bad. More specifically, the federal gas tax and the death tax are worthy of attention these days. After all, Washington is talking tax code revisions and revenue increases and that’s always scary.

Michigan show shines, while biofuels group switches sides

Today is for “the wearin’ of the green.” But if you’re a Michigan dealer who exhibited in the recent 23rd annual Spring Boating Expo, it’s more likely “the bankin’ of the green.” That, and an unexpected group joining our industry’s call for changes in the Renewable Fuels Standard, leads today’s blog.

Persistence will pay off in ethanol fight

I’m tired of writing about ethanol and I’ll bet you’re tired of reading it. But winning the battle to halt ethanol’s march has never been more likely than it is now in the current Congress and it’s critical that all marine dealers take time to weigh in now.

Collective needs overrule personal passions

You just got a seat on your marine trade association’s board of directors? Congrats — it’s a clear vote of confidence and respect to be elected by your fellow members to serve. But after the applause and handshakes, you should not be confused about the serious responsibility you’ve just been handed.

Boating grants are a boon to industry growth

You’ve probably heard of the Boating Infrastructure Grant program, affectionately dubbed the “Big P” by those of us who have long cheered the benefits of seeing federal dollars spent to support recreational boating. It does things the industry couldn’t do for itself.

More fish, less fish and no algae

From the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, issues including red snapper, Asian carp and dangerous algae blooms are getting major attention. And they very well should because they directly impact boating.