Outdoor Industry Association

Trade & Business Policy

The Outdoor Industry
Creates American Jobs

Illustration: American Jobs and Trade

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For more information on our trade and business policy, contact Rich Harper, OIA's Policy Advisor for Trade and Busness at rharper@outdoorindustry.org.


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We are a vibrant, diverse and innovative industry, low in trade barriers and strong in revenues and profits. We are global leaders in sustainable and fair business practices and our members strive to be responsible corporate citizens where doing the right thing is the norm.

The outdoor industry produces some of the most innovative products in the world. Our merchandise reaches all corners of the globe and enriches people’s lives by supporting healthy and active lifestyles. OIA members create and support more than 6.1 million American jobs, while adding more than $646 billion to the U.S. economy every year and in a rapidly evolving global economy, fair and predictable trade is essential for our industry’s continued innovation and growth.

OIA’s International Trade Program represents the diversity of our membership, including outdoor companies whose products are conceived, designed, and produced in America and those companies that utilize global value chains to bring their products to retail markets. From some of the largest companies in the world, to small, family-owned businesses, we work to ensure that U.S. federal trade policy fosters and promotes a stable and predictable environment for all outdoor industry businesses, while seeking to lower costs for outdoor businesses and their customers.

While some outdoor products are made in America, most are manufactured globally. These products are among the most highly taxed when entering the United States, despite not protecting any U.S. manufacturers. The average bound tariff rate on imported goods is less than 3 percent, but duties on outdoor products average 14 percent or higher, with some as high as 40 percent. In most cases, these disproportionately high tariffs are unnecessarily raising costs for outdoor businesses and American families. OIA supports keeping some tariffs in place for a limited period of time, however, to allow businesses making outdoor products in the United States to make the appropriate adjustments to compete globally.

OIA 2014 Trade and Business Strategic Priorities and Initiatives

  • Eliminate disproportionately high tariffs on global specialty outdoor products that have no material domestic production.
  • Establish a delineation, or a specific classification of specialized, innovative performance apparel and other outdoor products, distinct from mass consumer goods.
  • Promote a fair and equitable tax structure.
  • Encourage enforcement of intellectual property rights, including measures to reduce counterfeiting and trademark infringement.
  • Encourage federal programs and investments to support companies that produce outdoor products in the United States.

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