Retail Statement in Advance of President Biden's Address

Retail Cautions Against Proposals that Could Derail Recovery

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement from Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson in advance of President Joe Biden’s address to Congress:

“President Biden has dutifully led the country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. His tenacity and leadership injected a much needed dose of civility and confidence to the pandemic response. And his commitment to follow the science has reassured Americans that we will be able to resume our favorites activities once again. Now with vaccines reaching more than 2 million people a day, hope is on the horizon and retailers are ready to help lead an economic recovery that invests in our collective future.

“While we give the administration high marks on its response to the pandemic and are hopeful that it will clear the way to a sustained economic recovery, retailers are concerned that a number of the administration’s proposals will disrupt the job prospects and wage growth American workers were experiencing prior to the pandemic. A combination of tax increases on businesses, labor directives, regulations, and mandates on employers will have a negative effect on family take home pay. 

“Retailers want to work with the administration on infrastructure, immigration reform, trade, climate change, community policing, and criminal justice reform, and other economic priorities that will lift working families and support the communities in which we invest and operate. But unlike the speed and at times unilateral decision-making which was necessary on January 20th to immediately address the pandemic response, solutions to complex economic and societal challenges requires deliberation, thoughtful dialogue with both parties, and input from all stakeholders. 

“President Biden enjoys high marks from the public for his calm demeanor and steady hand over the first 100 days of his presidency.  We urge him to use that goodwill to bring together opposing voices and forge the kind of bipartisan consensus he spoke so eloquently of at his inaugural. Our economy and our country will be well-served if the President can unite a coalition of the willing in both parties to tackle challenges that have vexed many of his predecessors. Count retailers among the willing.”

For details on RILA's public policy priorities visit Retail Works for All of Us

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

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.
  • Public Policy
  • Tax
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Workforce
  • Climate and Sustainability
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • International Trade
  • Immigration
  • Retail Works for All of Us

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