By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
From left: Brian Moyer, Steele Rubber Products; Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO; Wade Kawasaki, Coker Group; Rep. Patrick McHenry; Doug Evans, Bonnier Corporation; Joanna Sheere, Steele Rubber Products; John Stewart, SEMA; Jim Cozzie, Brenton Productions; Eric Snyder, SEMA.
More than 115 representatives from SEMA gathered in the nation’s capital to participate in SEMA’s 2017 Washington Rally, Wednesday, May 17. Racing business owners and industry leaders took to the halls of Congress to remind lawmakers of the cultural and economic importance of motorsports and the automotive specialty-equipment industry.
A top focus during the rally was H.R. 350/S.203, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM Act) of 2017. The bipartisan bill would protect Americans’ right to modify street vehicles into dedicated racecars and the industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete. The RPM Act now has 118 co-sponsors in the House and 29 co-sponsors in the Senate, and the number continues to grow. Members also talked to their lawmakers about other issues facing the specialty-equipment industry, including countering burdensome regulations, preventing higher ethanol content in gasoline and fighting counterfeit products.
“I thank the SEMA members who traveled to Washington, D.C., to talk to lawmakers about the issues that are most important to our industry, including the RPM Act,” said SEMA Chairman of the Board Doug Evans. “The record-setting turnout underscores our industry’s passion and commitment to getting the RPM Act across the finish line. Passage of this bipartisan bill is the only way to make it clear that it is legal to modify a street vehicle into a racecar used exclusively at the track now and into the future. We urge members of Congress to pass this critical bill and protect motorsports for generations to come.”
This year’s event, which was the largest SEMA Rally to date, marks the 14th time representatives from SEMA have held a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The event raises SEMA’s profile on Capitol Hill and plays a pivotal role in the association’s advocacy efforts.
SEMA members who couldn’t make it to the rally this year are urged to reach out to the SEMA D.C. office at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn how to they can get in touch with their lawmakers in Congress. They can also see what happened at the rally on SEMA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages using #SaveOurRacecars and #SEMARally2017.