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SEMA on RPM Act: 'We Intend to Get the Job Done in 2017'


INDIANAPOLIS—SEMA, a coalition of automotive trade groups and Harley-Davidson Motor Co. delivered a letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Wednesday seeking support for the RPM Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced in March to confirm the legality of converting street cars for racing activity, as well as the parts made and sold for those vehicles.

Russ Deane, SEMA’s general counsel, said the association has recently engaged in communication with President-Elect Donald Trump’s White House transition team. SEMA held a news conference to discuss RPM Act updates during the Dec. 8-10 PRI Show in Indianapolis.

“As we all know, this was an election year, so there wasn’t enough time for Capitol Hill to approve the legislation. But we intend to get the job done in 2017,” said Stuart Gosswein, senior director of federal government affairs for SEMA.

SEMA hopes to encourage Congressional sponsors of the RPM Act to reintroduce the bill in 2017. The RPM Act currently has 120 sponsors in the House of Representatives including 16 Democrats, and the Senate version of the bill has 28 sponsors, including five Democrats.

“Although 11 (RPM Act co-sponsors) won’t be returning to Congress next year, we believe there will be increasing support, and hope that the bill will receive early consideration by Congress,” said Steve McDonald, vice president of government affairs for SEMA. 

SEMA is planning to soon file a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washingon, D.C. Circuit to challengie the EPA’s authority of regulating motorsports shops. The federal agency can currently conduct search and seizure activities at shops without a warrant, according to Deane. The EPA gained the authority to do so almost eight months ago after finalizing rules in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles document, according to SEMA.

Official Letter

The letter delivered to Vice President-Elect Pence was signed by Harley-Davidson Motor and 10 trade associations. Signees included:

  • American Motorcyclist Association
  • Auto Care Association
  • Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association
  • California Automotive Wholesalers Association
  • Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
  • International Hot Rod Association
  • Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association
  • Motorcycle Riders Foundation
  • Motorcycle Industry Council
  • Off-Road Business Association
  • SEMA
  • Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades
  • Tire Industry Association
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