The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) government affairs team has met Members of Congress to promote its policies for the RV industry laid out in its new 2019 Federal Policy Agenda.
The RVIA provides opportunities for Senators, Representatives and their staff to learn more about the vital role RVs play in the outdoor recreation and travel industries through up to-date industry information, news stories, briefings and educational events throughout the year.
The 2019 Federal Policy Agenda consolidates the key actions the industry would like Members of Congress to take regarding campground modernization and expansion, tariffs, trade, tax and other key issues.
In terms of trade, the United States is the world’s largest producer of RVs, producing twice as many RVs as the rest of the world combined. The RV industry has strong trade relations with Canada and Mexico and depends on a strong trilateral agreement. In 2015, RV exports totaled $1.2 billion. Over 90 percent of all RV exports go to Canada, accounting for nearly 10% of all U.S. RV shipments. Over 53,000 American-built RVs were exported to Canada in 2017. Domestic content standards for motorhomes remains at NAFTA level of 62.5 percent and travel trailer content requirement remains at 50 percent.
Many federal campgrounds were constructed more than 60 years ago and were not built or equipped to accommodate today’s more advanced and larger RVs or to handle demand from the growing RV industry.
RV sales and ownership continue to grow at record levels, but unfortunately, during the same period, RV stays at National Park Service (NPS) campgrounds have drastically declined—even though state and private campgrounds are posting significant growth.
RV consumers rely on federal infrastructure for safe and enjoyable experiences, but deteriorating and inadequate campgrounds, roads, bridges, water systems and other utilities reduce enjoyment and add safety concerns.
Outdoor recreation is the number one driver of economic activity on federal lands and every dollar invested in the National Park Service subsequently returns ten dollars to the U.S. economy.
The RVIA wants increased investment in campground modernization and expansion on public lands and utilize volunteers, partnerships and concessioners to help address this need.
The RVIA says that the scope of the steel and aluminum tariffs that have been enacted is far too broad to have the intended effect and will only create new challenges for American businesses to the benefit of foreign competitors.
Steel and aluminum tariffs negatively impact U.S. RV production in several ways. The tariffs increase production costs for domestic manufacturers who use steel and aluminium. Domestic steel and aluminum supplier costs have already risen as a result of the tariffs causing domestic component prices to increase.
Comprehensive tax reform and the lowering of the corporate tax rate has benefited the RV industry and its employees. Unfortunately, a definition change in one section of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has unintentionally resulted in effectively removing travel trailers from the definition of “motor vehicle” for the purposes of floor plan financing interest deductibility. The final version of the bill allows all floor plan financing interest charges on motorhomes to remain a deductible expense, but because of the change in how motor vehicles are defined, floor plan interest on all towable RVs will be subject to a 30 percent limitation on interest expenses based on earnings before interest and taxes.