A bill aimed at lowering the cost of outdoor apparel —for consumers and manufacturers—was introduced this week in both the House and Senate. The U.S. Optimal Use of Trade to Develop Outerwear and Outdoor Recreation (OUTDOOR) Act eliminates high tariffs on outdoor products like ski jackets and hiking apparel while also providing incentives for technologies focused on sustainable, eco-friendly apparel supply chains.

“At a time when Americans are trying to save money however they can, this bill will make outdoor apparel more affordable while creating investment and job opportunities at home,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who introduced the bill to the House. “This bill removes unnecessary tariffs on apparel not currently made in the U.S.  In addition, the companies that benefit from these reduced tariffs will be required to contribute a portion of their savings toward research programs that are developing ways to keep America’s apparel industry globally competitive and more environmentally sustainable. This is a win for consumers and a win for strong American companies like Columbia, REI, North Face and others looking to reduce costs, improve the quality of their goods, and implement sustainable processes.”

The U.S. OUTDOOR Act is based on a 2007 U.S. International Trade Commission report that confirmed there to be no commercially viable production of recreational performance outerwear in the United States.  OIA worked closely with outdoor apparel manufacturers and U.S. producers of textiles and performance fabrics to ensure the legislation does not impede any U.S. production, but in fact creates jobs in the outdoor industry and supports active outdoor recreation’s $730 billion annual contribution to the U.S. economy.

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