Iconic American powerhouse pardoned from steel tariffs

Brunswick Corporation CEO: We got an exemption from tariffs for outboards we make in China

FBN's Jeff Flock talks to Brunswick Corporation CEO David Foulkes about the impact of tariffs on the company's business.

When President Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China last year, it triggered a Commerce Department process for U.S. corporations to seek exclusions from those tariffs. The CEO of one iconic American company got the department to his company's appeals.

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Brunswick Corporation, known for its billiards and fitness businesses, is now a boating company that makes and sells the vast majority of its products in the U.S. Its CEO,  David Foulkes, explained how it got a break on tariffs for its Chinese-made outboard engines.

“Most of our competition is Japanese. So it made no sense to apply tariffs to those engines for us and, thank goodness, the Commerce Department … listened to us,” said Foulkes to FOX Business’ Jeff Flock on Monday.

“We're a huge marine powerhouse in the U.S. The last thing you want to do is put us at a competitive disadvantage with the Japanese.”

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BCBRUNSWICK CORP.44.16-2.36-5.07%

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However, Brunswick wasn’t so lucky when it came to Trump’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Foulkes said.

“It’s about a $7 million hit to us this year,” he explained.

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Brunswick recently divested its billiards and fitness businesses to focus solely on boating. Its brands include Mercury Marine, Sea Ray and Mariner. Foulkes was named its new CEO at the end of 2018 after his predecessor retired. He said the focus on boats came from confidence in the U.S. economy.

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