I am pleased to share with you The Retail Industry Leaders Association’s 2013 Public Policy Agenda: Empowering Retailers and Consumers to Grow the Economy.
The retail industry’s prominence in the economy cannot be overstated. With nearly 17.7 million Americans in retail jobs, 10 million more reliant on the industry for work and more than $3.8 trillion in annual sales generated by retailers big and small, few industries have a greater impact on the U.S. economy. Retailers pay billions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxes each year, and collect and remit billions more in sales taxes to state and local governments. The fact is, consumer spending drives our economy and when the retail industry thrives, related industries grow and whole communities benefit.
Consumers and retailers can propel growth when the economic and regulatory environment empowers them to do so. However, when those forces discourage consumer spending and retail investment, economic growth sputters, much as it is doing today. Consumers lack the confidence needed to drive substantial growth and disparate treatment under the tax code and a morass of regulations undermine retailers’ ability to invest, grow and add jobs. More must be done to unleash the power of consumers and retailers to get our economy growing again.
RILA’s 2013 Public Policy Agenda focuses on those steps that policymakers can take this year to empower consumers and retailers to spend, invest and grow. We look forward to working with you in the coming months to achieve our shared goals of economic growth and prosperity.