The Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations today held a hearing to examine federal policy and regulatory impediments for small businesses in the marine industry. The wide-ranging discussion focused on the effects of regulatory actions by the Department of Labor, the planning and permitting processes for the maintenance of navigable waterways at the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and boating-related intra-state taxation of small businesses.
"Because many of these companies have a major impact on the economic well-being of their coastal regions, it is important for Washington to carefully evaluate the regulations and tax policies in this industry," said Subcommittee Chairman Mike Coffman (R-CO). "In addition, an aging system of locks, dams, and undredged channels threatens the continued viability of many waterways as reliable shipping avenues, and we must judiciously devote adequate resources to keeping them in good shape for interstate commerce."
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said, "Boating has an estimated annual economic impact of $72 billion, much of it benefiting small businesses that work in boat repair, recreation, and transportation. The maritime industry in Florida alone is responsible for the creation of more than 200,000 jobs and represents an $18 billion dollar industry. These numbers are only a portion of the large impact that this industry has on our state, and nation overall. As we struggle with our lagging economy, this administration must re-evaluate the abundance of regulations coming from Washington, DC, because they are making it harder for small businesses to grow and hire. This hearing provided a valuable format to hear firsthand how important the maritime industry is to our nation and the problems that are preventing economic growth within it."
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