This week, trade ministers involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are meeting in Maui, Hawaii to continue negotiations of an agreement that represent 40 percent of global GDP. RILA's Vice President of International Trade, Hun Quach, is leading the only retail delegation attending the negotiations, and is working to ensure the interests of retailers are well-represented in any advancements made in the Ministerial meeting. The United States, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Peru, and Mexico are among the 12 countries engaged in the negotiations. Retailers are particularly invested in seeing the elimination of duties and creation of workable rules on high-tariff items such as apparel and footwear, and the elimination of supply chain barriers. Prior to attending the negotiations, retailers involved in the TPP Apparel Coalition detailed these interests in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. As a member of the Coalition, RILA and President Sandy Kennedy signed on to this letter.
In addition, 23 U.S. House Members led by Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) sent a bipartisan letter to Ambassador Froman last week pressing for improved apparel market access, immediate duty reductions, more flexible rules of origin, and a list of products eligible for cut and sew in the TPP.