Trade Expert Joins RILA’s Public Affairs Team

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is pleased to announce Blake Harden has joined the association as its new vice president of international trade.

Harden brings extensive trade experience to the role. She joins RILA after serving three years at the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Trade where she worked as trade counsel to ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas). Prior to her work at Ways and Means, she was a senior attorney at the Office of Chief Counsel, Trade and Finance Section of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

At RILA, Harden will lead the association’s international trade public policy efforts, which are a top priority for leading retailers. Harden will drive RILA’s strategic trade policy agenda and coalition activities aimed to combat the negative impact tariffs have had on the industry and will serve as the leading expert for several of RILA’s communities engaged on trade issues.

“Leading retailers will be well served by having Blake Harden at the helm of RILA’s trade policy work,” said Austen Jensen, senior vice president of government affairs at RILA. “As the U.S. seeks to negotiate several international trade agreements, it’s crucial policy makers understand how these agreements impact retailers and consumers. Blake’s background, expertise, and tenacity make her a forceful advocate for our members on such an important issue.”
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.

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