By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
SEMA and other Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) representatives met with U.S. Secretary of the Commerce Wilbur Ross to discuss recreation’s role as a driver of the American economy. Participants discussed the importance of expanding public/private partnerships to grow jobs and the Commerce Department’s implementation of a 2016 law to calculate the economic impact of outdoor recreation. The Department will also play an important role in reviewing and potentially renegotiating trade agreements that impact the industry.
In a separate action, the ORIR worked closely with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) to introduce the “Recreation Not Red-Tape (RNR) Act”, H.R. 3400/S. 1633, in the U.S. Congress. The RNR Act is designed to promote access to outdoor recreation opportunities, streamline the permitting process for guides and recreation enthusiasts, make federal agencies accountable for prioritizing outdoor recreation and address the maintenance backlog on America’s public lands through increased volunteerism.
“Cumbersome permitting processes and other bureaucratic roadblocks have significantly undermined access to recreational opportunities for lands that should be available for all Americans to enjoy,” Rep. Bishop said. “This bipartisan bill cuts through that red tape and ensures federal land managers are focused on their role in providing the public with high-quality outdoor experiences.”
The ORIR is comprised of 17 industry associations, including SEMA, representing off-roading, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, archery and other sports. The outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion per year in economic activity and provides an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. The ORIR’s primary mission is to spotlight the economic value of outdoor recreation and pursue federal policy reforms for rebuilding and expanding the nation’s recreation-related infrastructure.
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