SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has officially announced its support for the Recreational Performance Outerwear Apparel Act of 2008, which will eliminate import duties on items deemed recreational performance outerwear. The Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives on July 15. SIA had been working on the legislation with a coalition of outdoor performance apparel manufacturers, including the Outdoor Industry Association.

The bill proposes that recreational performance outerwear be defined from other apparel for duty-free treatment as high-tech apparel, in particular jackets and trousers designed for outdoor recreational activities, such as snow sports and mountain climbing. Until now US tariffs on imported recreational performance outerwear have been some of the highest in the country, with negative effects on domestic outdoor apparel companies. A knit performance outerwear jacket, for example, is subject to a 28% duty.

That said, changes under the proposed legislation also include greater protection for manufacturing in the Western Hemisphere and investment of resources into US technology currently focused on sustainable practices.