On the heels of the dramatic debate over the Build Back Better Act at the end of last year, 2022 got off to a smoother start as key outdoor legislation and executive actions in favor of the outdoor industry were introduced. As such, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) staff and member companies are working hard to move these key policy priorities forward and make the outdoor industry a central part of conversations in the Beltway.
Supporting Federal Outdoor Legislation
To start the year off, OIA put its support behind several pieces of outdoor proposals that would bring continued opportunity and success for the outdoor industry.
OIA executive director Lise Aangeenbrug issued a statement of support for the Rural Outdoor Investment Act, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which would invest more than $50 million to support rural economic development by investing in outdoor recreation infrastructure, small outdoor businesses, and new recreation experiences in America’s small towns.
Continuing the outdoor industry’s longstanding support for Boundary Waters protection, OIA issued a statement of support for the Biden administration’s decision to cancel two leases that put the Boundary Waters at risk of highly toxic pollution. Ensuring public lands remain healthy and strong is critical to helping the Minnesotan community and economy thrive.
OIA also signed a statement of support for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD), with 88 other companies and trade associations. This bipartisan bill will help address longstanding, systemic supply chain and port disruption issues which have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amplifying the Outdoor Industry’s Voice on Trade
In addition to supporting key outdoor legislation, OIA joined 27 other trade associations in urging Congressional leadership to remove the Country-of-Origin Online Labeling (COOL) provision from the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), as this provision would create new liability for all retailers and sellers who operate online.
As Congress continues to consider competition and trade legislation this year, we are dedicated to ensuring our industry’s voice is a part of the conversation.
Senate Subcommittee on National Parks Holds Hearings on the Great American Outdoors Act
The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which funds public lands and outdoor recreation infrastructure, remains a key priority for the outdoor industry. On February 8, the National Parks Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the implementation of this bill. OIA joined the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable in calling on the committee to prioritize planning, oversight and coordination, and contracting as GAOA implementation continues to ramp up.
Watch the full committee hearing here.
State and Local Updates
This month, OIA voiced support for Pennsylvania’s first Outdoor Recreation Director. We’re looking forward to being a key partner for the director as he galvanizes the outdoor economy in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) held several listening sessions to hear from outdoor stakeholders on how the American Conservation and Steward Ship Atlas could be most useful in implementing the America the Beautiful initiative.
NOAA is soliciting comments on the Atlas until March 7, 2022. The outdoor industry is an important partner in successfully meeting the America the Beautiful goals, and our input will be important going forward. If you or your brand would like to submit comments on the Atlas, please reach out to Rebecca Gillis.
OIA Webinar on New Legislation Against Forced Labor in China
On February 23, OIA hosted a webinar entitled, “New Law Enhances Restrictions on Goods Made from Forced Labor in China: What Your Business Needs to Know.” The discussion focused on the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act” which establishes that any goods imported from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China are prohibited from entry into the United States.
With the help of OIA’s trade counsels, the webinar discusses the major provisions of the new law, the enforcement strategy development process, and how businesses may participate in the public comment period. View the full presentation here.