Retailers Applaud Letters Advocating for TPP Agreement

With a goal to finish a deal this year, Trade Ministers from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries will meet in Singapore this weekend to work on the most difficult issues of the negotiations. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement today in support of House and Senate letters organized by Congressmen Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), and sent to President Obama. The letters advocate for more flexibilities in the rules and immediate duty free market access for apparel in a TPP agreement.

“It is critical for U.S. trade policy to measure success by how it contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. companies, and the workers they employ,” said Stephanie Lester, vice president for international trade at RILA. “This is the clear message from Congress to President Obama. They want to see a successful TPP agreement that grows trade and investment in all sectors, including the apparel sector. To achieve that goal, the letters call on President Obama to offer more flexible rules and immediate duty-free market access for apparel. We applaud Congressmen Erik Paulsen and Mike Thompson, and Senator Mark Warner for their leadership to support a comprehensive, high-standard TPP agreement that maximizes opportunities to create new U.S. exports and U.S. jobs."

“We believe additional flexibilities in the rules of origin and duty-free market access for apparel are important to sustain and grow American jobs,” the senators wrote. “These flexibilities for apparel are essential for growing U.S. yarn and fabric exports. Immediate and reciprocal duty-free market access and flexible rules for apparel will support the three million Americans whose jobs directly depend on the global value chains that design, produce and sell apparel imports.”

The Congressmen stated in their letter that“It is critical that U.S. trade policy accommodates the realities of business models that allow many U.S. apparel retailers and brands to stay competitive and prosper both at home and in global markets. By incorporating these ideas, the TPP can also be an instrument to help American families to live better by lowering costs on a basic necessity.”

Read the House Letter

Read the Senate Letter


RILA member companies blanketed the Hill this fall stressing the importance of flexibility in TPP apparel rules. Read HERE

RILA also supports the Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Caucus and their efforts to bring increased attention to and support for a successful TPP agreement. Read HERE


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