The U.S. Congress passed last week a new legislation that eliminates disproportionately high import duties on performance outerwear, called the Outdoor Act, where the word Outdoor stands for Optimal Use of Trade to Develop Outerwear and Outdoor Recreation. The new bill creates specific classifications for recreational performance outerwear in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule. It follows similar action in the U.S. Senate.
While there is no commercially viable production of recreational performance outerwear in the U.S., the U.S. Outdoor Industry Association says it worked closely with outdoor apparel makers and producers of performance fabrics to ensure the bill would not prevent any U.S. production, but instead create jobs in the sector and support active outdoor recreation’s $730 billion annual contribution to the U.S. economy.
In separate lobbying action, the Outdoor Resources Review Group, a panel made up of elected officials and conservationists, has recommended that the U.S. allocate at least $3.2 billion a year to protect the country’s parks, wildlife refuges and open space. It proposes creating a nationwide network of trails to improve recreation possibilities and giving tax benefits to non-profit and private conservation groups. The program would help create jobs, improve health conditions and respond to climate change.
The U.S. government took positive action in this respect a few weeks ago by waiving entrance fees at National Parks on select weekends.