OIA Announces 2008 Public Policy Agenda

The OIA Board of Directors recently approved the industry’s policy agenda for 2008. The policy agenda guides OIA’s government affairs work for the year in the legislative and policy development process.

OIA agenda supports active outdoor recreation industry by dvocating for increased funding for recreation destinations and ensuring fair treatment of our innovative products through the global supply chain.

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Board of Directors recently approved the industry's policy agenda for 2008. The policy agenda guides OIA's government affairs work for the year in the legislative and policy development process.

OIA's policy work in 2008 will focus on two main areas: Recreation and Trade policy.

OIA's Recreation program will focus on securing increased investment in close-to-home parks, trails, and recreation infrastructure and increasing federal funding for the Forest Service Recreation program, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS). In addition, OIA will ensure that special signature projects funded at our National Parks in advance of the NPS Centennial in 2016 are in line with the values and interests of the active outdoor recreation industry. These projects could draw as much as $1 billion of investment over the next 10 years and have the potential to positively impact park preservation and expand appropriate recreational activities in the National Parks.
OIA will expand its work in 2008 to include working with the Forest Service and BLM as they complete plans that will govern the management of individual forests and desert landscapes for many years to come. OIA's focus will be to ensure that government policies on multi-use public lands preserve the availability and quality of human-powered recreation opportunities.

Finally, OIA will seek out opportunities to support legislation that has the outcome of reconnecting children with nature and encourages youth participation in active outdoor recreation.

“Active outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy,” said Amy Roberts, director of government affairs for OIA. “The vast majority of this powerful economic activity takes place on public lands managed by the federal government making the continuous voice of recreation at the national level essential.”

OIA's trade program will work to fair and proper treatment of the outdoor industry's innovative products as they move through the supply chain to retail.

OIA member companies and staff will work with Congress to establish a delineation of specialized, innovative performance apparel and other outdoor products from mass consumer goods. This will include supporting legislation that will relieve the industry of the burden of high tariffs that are currently disproportionately applied to outdoor footwear, apparel and equipment. OIA will also work to protect the outdoor industry from duties, quotas, and other restrictive trade barriers on the import of specialty outdoor products.

“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 through outdoor recreation,” commented Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA. “In a rapidly evolving global economy, open, equitable and predictable trade is essential for our industry's continued innovation, and growth. Predictable trade policy results lower costs to consumers and ensures continued product innovations.”

A full copy of OIA's 2008 Policy Agenda can be found at: www.outdoorindustry.org.

Questions regarding OIA's Recreation Policy agenda should be directed to Amy Roberts at 303.327.3511. Trade questions can be answered by Alex Boian at 303.327.3509.

About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services, and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.