Today, America's largest retailers praised House leaders for passing a six-year highway and transit bill that will bring certainty and stability for retailers and other industries that are dependent on our nation's infrastructure.
"A long-term transportation package is a huge relief for America's largest retailers whose supply chains depend on our nation's roads, bridges, and ports to connect with suppliers and our customers," said Kelly Kolb, vice president for government affairs with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). "We urge House and Senate leaders to quickly reconcile their respective bills in conference to ensure a final vote that provides a long-term solution for the nation's infrastructure needs."
Retailers were disappointed that the House did not vote on an amendment offered by Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) to include the Port Performance Act in the transportation bill. The amendment would give government and supply chain stakeholders consistent and objective means to measure performance at America's ports—a key component in the global supply chain for retailers. Similar language has already been approved in the Senate-passed transportation bill, and retailers are urging House and Senate conferees to include the Senate port performance provision in the final product.
"Sound roads and bridges are important, but if our nation's ports are clogged, it will strangle economic growth," said Kolb. "Our ports are the gateway for retail goods, raw materials, and billions of customers around the world. Ensuring that these vital cogs in the supply chain are operating efficiently and effectively is vital, and transparency at our ports should be part of the nation's long-term transportation planning."
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.