The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today urged Congress and the Obama administration to reach consensus on a path forward to renew the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA), which expired Saturday, and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which expired at the beginning of the year. RILA President Sandy Kennedy offered the following statement:
“The Andean trade preferences and Generalized System of Preferences are important programs that support a strong economic partnership between the United States and developing countries. RILA members rely on ATPA and GSP, which allow them to source a variety of products from the world’s poorest countries at competitive prices. Prompt renewal of ATPA and GSP is important to maintain and create jobs both at home and abroad. For example, Colombia’s cut flower industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Colombia and in the U.S. transportation, distribution and retail industries.
Congress and the White House need to step up to the plate and renew the ATPA and GSP programs before any lasting damage is done.”
“We all know that there will be much for Congress and the Obama Administration to quibble over throughout the year—but free trade should be a bipartisan top priority for all who are concerned with growing our economy and putting people back to work.”
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
VP, Communications & Advocacy