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How Does the GOP Platform Affect the Sports Industry?

Date: 8/31/12

SFIA Examines Education, Health Care, China Currency, IP, & Trade

SILVER SPRING, MD – August 30, 2012 – While political party platforms are not always followed, they are useful as they give you an idea of what direction the political party is headed – from a policy perspective. 

Bill Sells, SFIA’s Vice President of Government Relations, has reviewed the Republican Party’s 40+ page platform and has provided his analysis of what the GOP plans to do if it wins the race for the White House in November.

“Overall the Republican platform is good news for the industry,” said Sells.  “A commitment to improved education could help P.E. in schools and the focus on personal responsibility for health is a good sign for our Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Bill. PHIT encourages physical activity by changing current federal tax law to allow for the deduction or use of pre-tax dollars to cover expenses related to sports, fitness and other physical activities. More aggressive enforcement of intellectual property rights and greater emphasis on free trade agreements will benefit the industry.  The use of countervailing duties to address China’s currency manipulation is not the course SGMA prefers.”

Education:

“While we are pleased the Republican platform makes improved education a priority, we would like to have seen an acknowledgement of the positive impact physical activity has on student academic performance,” said Sells

Medicare/Medicaid:

The Republican platform states that expensive prevention is preferable to more costly treatment later on in life. The GOP uses recent figures from the CDC in Atlanta to back-up its position on the need for healthier lifestyles. “Approximately 80% of healthcare costs are related to lifestyle decisions such as smoking, obesity, and substance abuse. Far greater emphasis has to be put upon personal responsibility for health maintenance,” according to the CDC. Sells concurred on this approach, “SGMA’s PHIT bill is consistent with the platform’s objective of encouraging Americans to do more to improve their personal health.”

Health Care:

“The GOP believes that taking care of one’s health is an individual responsibility,” noted Sells. The GOP platform recognizes that “Chronic diseases, many of them related to lifestyle, drive health care costs, accounting for more than 75% of the nation’s medical spending. To reduce demand, and thereby lower costs, we must foster personal responsibility while increasing preventive services to promote healthy lifestyles.”  Sells added, “The sports and fitness industry is fully behind efforts to improve health via increased physical activity and improved nutrition.”

China Currency, IP & Trade:

The Republican platform includes an ominous message on China currency: “A Republican President will insist on full parity in trade with China and stand ready to impose countervailing duties if China fails to amend its currency policies. Commercial discrimination will be met in kind.”

“This Republican position on China’s currency is a cause for concern for manufacturers producing goods in China,” said Sells.

The Republican platform also states that “Counterfeit goods will be aggressively kept out of the country.”

“While the GOP position on counterfeiting is encouraging, we have come to realize it’s often easier said than done,” said Sells.

On trade, the Republicans are focused on Free Trade Agreements to increase U.S. exports and lower costs to consumers:  “A Republican President will be expected to complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open rapidly developing Asian markets to U.S. products.” 

“The U.S. has been slow to enact new Free Trade Agreements during the Obama Administration.  Making trade agreements more of a priority will be good for the economy and the sports and fitness industry,” acknowledged Sells who believes this is a positive sign.

To view the impact that the Democratic Platform may have on the industry click here.

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