Global trade rules and efficient supply chains are essential to retail operations. The vast retail supply chain supports millions of American jobs and provides consumers with the products they want on-demand and at the best possible prices. To help retailers move products from shore to shelf, global supply chains rely on open markets for goods and services, updated infrastructure, and efficient operations.
Beating Back Tariffs
As the largest U.S. importers, retailers remain concerned about the impact of tariffs on consumer prices and American family budgets. Tariffs substantially increase the cost of sourcing products from abroad, which impacts U.S. manufacturers, adds millions in operational costs, and ultimately increases costs to consumers. The tidal wave of tariffs on washing machines, steel and aluminum, and goods coming in from China have created uncertainty for trade flows and the growth of the overall U.S. economy.
RILA is actively engaged with Congress and the Administration in voicing retailers’ concerns over the negative impact tariffs have, not only on industry, but on the American consumer. RILA joined the Americans for Free Trade Coalition — representing a broad swath of U.S. industries — to highlight the impact of tariffs on American households and businesses across the country. RILA will continue to educate and advocate for a bold trade agenda that creates new opportunities for open markets and lowers trade barriers while facilitating the efficient movement of goods and services across our borders and through America’s ports.
Economic growth and job creation in America depend on expanding U.S. trade and investment opportunities across the globe. Free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico and trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) do exactly that.
RILA worked to modernize the NAFTA agreement and supports ratification of the trilateral United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). RILA continues to lead in showcasing the benefits of expanded trade to American families and our economy while educating lawmakers about the impact a potential withdrawal from NAFTA will have on U.S. jobs and retail prices. Expanding existing trade preference programs, like GSP, will improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses by providing new sourcing opportunities for retailers.
Investing In Infrastructure
America’s infrastructure system is in desperate need of a significant overhaul to eliminate congestion and delays throughout the retail supply chain. Without wise investment and sound long-term national policies, America’s strained infrastructure could lead to significant decreases in productivity and global competitiveness. RILA urges the Administration and Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to produce a bold infrastructure package that invests in American growth and upgrades the nation’s aging and congested ports, highways, airports, and bridges.
RILA will continue to work with industry stakeholders to increase awareness of port inefficiencies and promote legislative proposals that link timely and accurate port metrics and performance to federal funding. RILA will also advocate for state authority to permit the usage of Twin 33-foot trailers and raise truck weight limits, and support legislation like the DRIVE Safe Act to mitigate the current driver shortage. RILA also supports increased funding regionally and nationally for significant, multi-modal and cross-jurisdictional projects funded through BUILD and INFRA programs.