WASHINGTON — Columbia Sportswear, The North Face and Patagonia are a few of the recreational performance outerwear companies that stand to benefit from a tariff-dropping bill introduced in the House and Senate.
The U.S. Outdoor Act, introduced Friday by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) and Greg Walden (R., Ore.) in the House and Sens. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R., Idaho) in the Senate, would eliminate duties on about 80 styles of imported high-tech apparel designed for hiking, biking, skiing and other outdoor recreational activities.
If enacted, the bill would save outdoor apparel manufacturers close to $600 million over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“This bill removes unnecessary tariffs on apparel not currently made in the U.S.,” said Blumenauer. “In addition, the companies that benefit from these reduced tariffs will be required to contribute a portion of their savings toward research programs that are developing ways to keep America’s apparel industry globally competitive and more environmentally sustainable.”
Frank Hugelmeyer, president and chief executive officer of the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor apparel industry’s lead trade and lobbying group, said the bill represents a “commitment” by lawmakers to the “6.5 million jobs in the active outdoor recreation industry, the economic viability of the thousands of outdoor businesses across the country and the millions of Americans seeking healthy and active lifestyles through outdoor recreation.”
The bill would also establish a Sustainable Textile and Apparel Research Fund that could generate an estimated $110 million in grants over 10 years. The bill sets up a competitive grant process that is overseen by the five-member STAR board of directors, who will be appointed by President Obama, to help foster sustainable supply chains for the apparel and textile industry.
Only research firms, not manufacturers, would be eligible for the grants and they would have to demonstrate 10 years of proficiency in sustainable supply chain processes.
“The goal is to have the U.S. become the global leader in sustainable business practices related to apparel and textiles,” said Alex Boian, director of trade policy for the OIA.
Proponents said they worked closely with U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers that could be potentially affected by the elimination of duties on imports and pointed to a 2007 U.S. International Trade Commission report that concluded there is no “commercially viable production of recreational performance outerwear in the U.S.”
The bill was originally introduced last year and did not move. Its supporters claim it has been substantially modified this year, but its prospects are unclear as trade has taken a backseat while Congress considers major health care and energy reform legislation.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews