OIA reaches out to new Secretary of Commerce on trade agenda

OIA reaches out to new Secretary of Commerce on trade agenda

Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA, spells out the outdoor industry's trade agenda to Wilbur Ross

 Wilbur Ross // Photo: Wikepedia

Wilbur Ross // Photo: Wikepedia

On Monday, the senate voted to confirm Wilbur Ross as Secretary of Commerce. As secretary, Ross will help implement Trump’s trade agenda, which includes prioritizing domestic manufacturing, enforcing U.S. trade laws, and re-negotiating North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Ross will also be in charge of implementing the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Enhancement (REC) Act, which passed last year, directing the secretary to measure the economic impact of the outdoor industry for the first time.

Amy Roberts, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association, sent Ross a letter this week congratulating him on his post and outlining the outdoor industry’s trade agenda.

The 5-page letter details OIA’s “balanced trade policy.” Roberts writes specifically about “Made in the USA” product labelling, the development and growth of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ), tariff relief and global supply chains, and why China and other Southeast Asian countries are critical sourcing options for outdoor companies.

Roberts concludes her letter by saying, “We agree that our trading partners should follow the rules and meet their obligations under the provisions of free trade agreements with the U.S. or as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). We support dialogue and consultation to remedy any outstanding trade disputes. If these efforts are not successful, however, the U.S. should also act in a manner consistent with our own obligations and U.S. trade law. Unilateral and arbitrary retaliatory or punitive tariffs, will cripple the outdoor recreation economy, including the growing "Made in the USA" sector, creating uncertainty and costing U.S. jobs.”

Read OIA's complete letter here.