Bipartisan, Bicameral Members Introduce Bill to Reduce Tariffs on Recreational Outerwear

Aug 10, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Trade

Washington, D.C. – Recently, Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the U.S. Optimal Use of Trade to Develop Outerwear and Outdoor Recreation (OUTDOOR) Act  to reduce tariffs on recreational performance apparel and strengthen America’s recreational economy. 

Specifically, the legislation would make products like jackets and pants more affordable for American consumers, encourage participation in outdoor activities, create jobs, and help designers and retailers of performance apparel better compete in the global economy. 

“When people think of Washington State, they immediately think of the outdoors,” said Rep. Reichert. “Residents in my home state are blessed to have natural treasures such as Mt. Rainier and countless miles of trails in their backyards. I am proud to work on this bipartisan bill to make outdoor recreation apparel more affordable; supporting  both outdoor enthusiasts and the growth of Washington's innovative apparel companies."

“From hiking and nature-watching in the Columbia River Gorge to biking on trails throughout our forests, Oregonians enjoy being active outside. Not only is outdoor recreation good for our souls and health, but it’s good for our economy,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “By making gear more affordable, the OUTDOOR Act will allow for more families across Oregon and the country to enjoy the great outdoors.”

“Outdoor recreation is a critical part of Missouri’s economy, generating billions in consumer spending and supporting more than 130,000 jobs,” said Sen. Blunt. “Unfortunately, many of the outdoor products consumers rely on face import tariffs as high as 40 percent. These taxes mean higher costs for businesses and consumers, less innovation, and fewer U.S. jobs. By eliminating import tariffs on outdoor apparel, the OUTDOOR Act will help grow the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy and encourage more Americans to enjoy the great outdoors. I urge all of my colleagues to support this bipartisan and bicameral bill.”

“In Washington state we are hikers, bikers, anglers, climbers, and skiers. I am proud to put forward a common-sense bill that will help Washington state’s $26 billion outdoor economy grow, hire workers, and continue to offer high-performance products to our outdoor enthusiasts,” said Sen. Cantwell, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Background:

According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2017 report, the outdoor recreation economy directly supports 7.6 million American jobs and generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually. But burdensomely high import tariffs on outdoor recreation apparel limit opportunities for outdoor retailers to expand and contribute to higher consumer prices.

The OUTDOOR Act would work to address these issues by making outdoor recreation apparel items duty-free, thereby eliminating the “hidden tax” on these goods.