Press Releases

Reps. Frankel, Yoho Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Bring More Marine Industry Jobs to South Florida, Boost Economy

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Washington, May 1, 2019 | comments

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-21-D) and Ted Yoho (FL-3-R) re-introduced bipartisan legislation that would fix a century old law that discourages boat sales in the United States, bringing more new jobs and a boost to economic activity in South Florida.

“Boats are the floating economic engines driving South Florida’s economy, a $23.3 billion industry supporting more than 92,000 jobs and 6,000 businesses in our state,” said Rep. Frankel. “We want to take this super-industry full speed ahead, creating good-paying jobs for coastal communities.”

“This legislation will take a commonsense approach in assessing duties for used yacht sales registered under a foreign flag, making it easier to sell these boats in the United States,” said Rep. Yoho. “The bill will help strengthen our economy by boosting American companies and workers that support the boating industry in U.S. ports. I am glad to introduce this bill with Congresswoman Frankel and I want to thank her for her leadership on this important issue for the state of Florida.”

“Representative Frankel’s support of Deferred Importation has been unwavering from the beginning,” said Paul Flannery, International Yacht Brokers Association Executive Director. “Obviously, she recognizes the benefit this legislation has toward creating high paying skilled jobs in our community and across the country. H. R. 2239 is a bipartisan effort to update old laws and to remove barriers to commerce.”

Under current law, owners of foreign-flagged yachts must pay an import duty before bringing their vessel into U.S. waters for sale. This obstacle discourages sales from happening here and encourages yacht owners to take their business elsewhere. This is a loss to South Florida small businesses who perform maintenance and repair work and employ thousands of people. 

This legislation would allow yacht owners to defer the duty until after a sale is made, incentivizing the sale of foreign-flagged yachts in the U.S. and providing work for coastal communities.

For full bill text, click here.

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