From The Hill

Country Road Homecoming

Senator MaynardAt the 2018 SEMA Show, West Virginia State Senator Mark Maynard was introduced as the first-ever winner of the Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year award. Representing the Sixth District, Senator Maynard was recognized for his efforts in the West Virginia Senate to promote policies and legislation that support the automotive hobby.

Utah Provides $5 Million for “Restore Bonneville” Program

Restore BonnevilleA major milestone was achieved when the state of Utah appropriated $5 million in its fiscal year 2019–2020 budget to help save the Bonneville Salt Flats. SEMA applauds the Utah state government for allocating funding to create a 10-year “Restore Bonneville” program that will dramatically increase the amount of salt being pumped onto the flats in an effort to restore the historic racing venue.

All Roads Lead to San Diego

San DiegoCalifornia has long been a sought-after place to live, drawing people from all corners of the globe. Southern California is the unofficial birthplace of the automotive aftermarket and is home to more SEMA members than any other area in the country. Nils Forssman, who spent his formative years in Johannesburg, South Africa, aspired to expand his family’s business operations internationally and fell in love with San Diego. His company, Truck Covers USA, recently hosted U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) for a tour of its San Diego headquarters.

SEMA News Goes Behind the Scenes with U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin

Markwayne MullinMany politicians grow up dreaming of the day they will run for office. Their young adult lives are a series of tactical steps designed to build a narrative they can use as a springboard to get elected. U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) took a different path, growing a family business while competing in action-packed pursuits ranging from rock crawling to mixed martial arts. It’s no coincidence that he’s one of the most genuine and effective members of Congress, using his platform to make government a bit friendlier to small businesses and automotive enthusiasts.

Tariffs Bring Uncertainty and Woe

TariffsEvery business depends on predictable supply costs. When it comes to that basic entrepreneurial principle, 2018 was not a good year. The Trump administration imposed a series of tariffs with little warning. Those measures were intended to address unfair trade practices and encourage foreign nations to renegotiate trade pacts to remove or equalize duty rates. Unfortunately, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Make no mistake, SEMA supports equitable trade but questions the methods being employed to bring other countries to the bargaining table. The results to date have been modest when compared to the upheaval being caused in the marketplace.

Political Pendulum Backswing

House White House PhotoWith November’s midterm election now behind us, the American people have once again shifted the balance of power in a different direction. Although 2016 proved to be one of the most contentious U.S. elections in recent memory, the resulting legislative landscape over the past two years has generally been helpful to the automotive specialty-equipment market and the enthusiasts who support it.

California Congressman Tours SEMA Garage

Rep. CisnerosFor most people, the thought of winning the lottery and never having to work again go hand in hand. While a very small percentage of people win the lottery, that life-changing experience served as a catalyst for Gil Cisneros to start a foundation dedicated to providing educational opportunities for children in underserved communities and run for political office. In 2018, he was elected to represent California’s 39th Congressional District, which includes SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, in the U.S. House of Representatives. SEMA has developed a close working relationship with Rep. Cisneros during his first year in Congress, which included a visit to the SEMA Garage.

Silver State U.S. Senator Visits 2018 SEMA Show

Chris KerstingThe SEMA Show moved from Anaheim, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1977, long before the phrase “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” was coined. Las Vegas was the perfect location, providing room for the show to expand, world-class entertainment, and an exciting destination. Today, more than 70,000 buyers and 2,400 exhibitors from all over the world participate in the SEMA Show. While the SEMA Show happens in Las Vegas, the long-term business relationships developed there extend far beyond the city limits.

Federal Government Acknowledges Economic Contributions of Outdoor Recreation

ORRSEMA and other Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) member organizations welcomed a federal government final report documenting the significant economic impact of the outdoor recreation economy. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) found that the outdoor recreation industry contributed $412 billion to the nation’s economy in 2016 (the last available year of data), which represented 2.2% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Of note, motorized recreation and motorcycling accounted for more than $20 billion in economic activity.

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