Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Outdoor Industry Association Applauds Introduction of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act of 2014

The Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) applauds the introduction of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR); and in the U.S. Senate by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Developed in close consultation with the outdoor industry, the U.S. textile industry, and congressional representatives, this bipartisan piece of legislation will lower costs for outdoor industry businesses, prevent rising retail prices for consumers, and spur innovation by U.S. companies.

“I commend Representatives Reichert and Blumenauer and Senators Cantwell and Ayotte for coming together in a bipartisan effort to support the outdoor recreation industry, a vital part of the economy at the state and national level,” said OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer. “The U.S. OUTDOOR Act will lower costs for outdoor businesses, fuel innovation, attract more consumers to get outdoors using high-quality, affordable apparel and will create more jobs in the United States. We look forward to the enactment of this important legislation.”


* creates unique classifications specific to recreation performance outerwear high-tech apparel, designed especially for outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, skiing or snowboarding, hunting, fishing, paddling and other recreational activities - in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule; and

* eliminates onerous duties on these new classifications.

The Senate bill also includes the Sustainable Textile and Apparel Research Fund (STAR Fund) that will promote U.S. jobs and technologies through investments in American research programs and services towards sustainable, eco-friendly apparel supply chains.

The commercial manufacturing industry for recreational performance outerwear moved offshore decades ago, primarily following the technological advancements and commercial manufacturing capacity that are required by U.S.-based outdoor companies. According to the International Trade Commission there is no commercially viable manufacturing of recreational performance outwear in the U.S. In fact, the bill has been thoroughly vetted with the domestic textile and apparel industry to ensure that none of the products covered by the bill are produced in the U.S.

The high tariffs that remain (some as high as 30%) make it harder for millions of Americans to enjoy outdoor recreation in our parks and public lands and, at the same time, stifle innovation, economic growth and the creation of new jobs. If enacted, the bill will add to the $646 billion in consumer spending and the 6.1 million jobs generated by the outdoor industry.

OIA is encouraging consumers and its outdoor companies to contact their members of Congress to request support for the legislation.

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Jared Polis (D-CO) in the House, and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate.

Hiking in the Smokies

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