The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Tue Sep 4, 2018
Author: Eleonore Hamm
The introduction of U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum are cause for considerable concern. Trade wars will have a negative effect on our industry. RVDA of Canada has taken steps to illustrate how our industry is affected and how certain changes will be detrimental to both Canadians and Americans.
The association immediately issued a media release highlighting the impact that the tariffs have.
The impact is real: Many of the raw materials to manufacture RVs in the United States are imported from Canada, including steel and aluminum. More than 95 percent of RVs sold in Canada are imported from the U.S.
Because of this, American tariffs on steel and aluminum will increase the cost of manufacturing RVs, ultimately raising vehicle prices on both sides of the border. Canadian metal imports also support numerous other U.S. manufacturing jobs, exacerbating the problem.
While not all U.S. manufacturers are using Canadian steel and aluminum, we have heard that the cost of materials is rising regardless of the point of origin. This could hamper purchasing decisions by RV consumers.
Canadian RV Advocacy
In 2004, the RVDA of Canada leadership team developed a new goal: to be actively consulted in political, public, and industry policy matters, and to be proactive in advocating policy in the common interest of Canadian RV dealers. This goal helps our association meet its mission of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Canadian RV dealers to maximize their sales and profitability potential.
Over the years, our advocacy efforts expanded, and we have always held an annual Parliament Hill Day. The event has become the foundation of our industry’s advocacy strategy. We learned how building lasting relationships with government decision makers is fundamental for creating awareness of our industry and leads to advocacy success.
In April, the RVDA of Canada, along with the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) held another successful RV Industry Awareness Day on Parliament Hill. On April 25, we hosted a reception attended by more than 50 members of Parliament (MPs) and senators. The following day on The Hill included nearly 50 one-on-one meetings, a press conference and an opportunity for our representatives to talk about the importance of the RV and camping sector.
Much like in the U.S., our messaging included the need for investment in federal campgrounds, clarification on tax policies, and a renewed NAFTA. The face-to-face meetings in Ottawa are extremely important in getting the issues that matter most to our industry into the hands of MPs, senators, policy advisors, and other key decision makers.
As trade talks continued to dominate the political landscape this spring and summer, the RVDA of Canada reiterated its message of applauding the multi-partisan, “whole of government” approach to the NAFTA renegotiations. I believe any major disruption to Canada–U.S. trade will have serious repercussions to the RV industry. An updated and renegotiated NAFTA is the best solution for the dealers that we represent and the RV manufacturers our members do business with. A renewed NAFTA that continues to allow free flow of goods within North America will provide great benefit to all countries, as well as the RV industry.
Unfortunately, in May, we were required to add the steel and aluminum tariffs to our slate of advocacy efforts. With the imposed steel and aluminum tariffs put in place as of June 1 by the U.S. administration, a new top priority was set for RVDA of Canada.
The Canadian RV industry has been positioned for growth. In 2015 and 2016, the Canadian RV industry lost 17.4 percent of new unit sales during the two-year period. In 2017, new unit sales were up a very impressive 14.2 percent to almost 50,000 RVs sold, nearly attaining the level of demand seen earlier this decade. Consumer debt in our country is also coming down for the first time in many years.
Our recent Economic Impact Analysis highlights that RVing and camping in Canada has a considerable economic impact. In 2017, the manufacturing, purchasing, servicing and use of RVs generated an estimated 66,000 jobs and delivered $4.7 billion in added revenue to the Canadian economy from an initial expenditure of $6.1 billion. About 15 percent of Canadian households own an RV (2 million households).
In fact, the new analysis found that the 2.1 million RV owners took an estimated 8.2 million RV trips in Canada in 2017. Canadians who rented RVs took an estimated 612,000 additional trips in Canada, bringing the total to 8.8 million RV trips. With an estimated $3.3 billion in spending from these trips, RV tourism is the largest contributor to the overall economic impact, by a significant margin.
NAFTA and Trade War
By raising the cost of RV inputs from Canada, the American tariffs will increase manufacturing costs. These are unnecessary and punitive tariffs and are a reminder that it is essential to continue the renegotiation of NAFTA and focus on finding a solution to benefit all three countries.
The RV industry benefitted from the integrated North American market NAFTA created. Major disruptions are certain to have serious repercussions. We also encourage our Canadian government to be careful that any proposed response to the U.S. tariffs do not have a negative impact on the Canadian RV industry.
The Canadian RV industry plays an important role in connecting Canadians, as well as international tourists and people from the U.S., to our country’s tremendous natural heritage. RVing offers an affordable, accessible way for travelers to explore Canada, creating lasting experiences and memories that might otherwise not be possible. Our governments need to ensure that this continues to be possible.