Today, organizations representing America's most recognized retail brands, suppliers and Main Street businesses, announced the launch of the U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition. The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), National Retail Federation (NRF), Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) formed the Coalition to educate policymakers and the public about the millions of American jobs and national economic growth their members generate through their value chains.
Retail global value chains are highly sophisticated, employing millions of Americans through the production of goods and provision of services, distribution, and sales. The Coalition will advocate, educate, conduct research, and engage on policies that support American employees and their families through U.S. global value chains.
"In today's global economy, it is essential that policies in Washington support the modern supply chain. While 98 percent of the clothes and shoes sold in the U.S. are imported, it is important to note that our industry provides nearly four million American jobs throughout the supply chain. By developing policies that open new markets and remove trade barriers, we can be more competitive, supply more good-paying jobs to American workers, and provide greater value for American consumers," said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of AAFA.
"Global value chains are a critical component to businesses success. The retail industry alone has millions of U.S. jobs from sourcing and logistics to finance and compliance that are part of a global value chain that is essential to providing high quality, affordable products to American consumers. In order to achieve that goal and remain competitive, we need policies that recognize the importance of the global value chain to the U.S. economy, workers and consumers," said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy for NRF.
"We are excited to launch this important effort as retail continues to focus on creating American jobs. As the nation's largest employer, we support over 42 million employees throughout our retail supply chain. It is important that Congress and the Administration support policies that keep America competitive on the global stage, spur innovation, and help retailers continue to provide families with the goods and services they want and need each and every day," said Hun Quach, vice president of international trade for RILA.
"This report tells us what the fashion industry already knows--that the majority of fashion and retail jobs in the United States are made possible by global trade. We hope policymakers in Washington will take a look at this evidence of the need for agreements and policies that expand free trade, not stymie it," says Julia K. Hughes, president of USFIA.
The groups launched the Coalition on Capitol Hill today with participation from VF Corporation, Target Corp, SanMar Corporation, Precision Custom Coatings, and Levi Strauss & Co. Following the launch, the Coalition will meet with officials in Congress and the Administration to discuss the impact and importance of the U.S. global value chain.
In addition to the launch, the Coalition partnered with Moongate Associates, an international consulting firm that focuses on the formulation and analysis of international trade policy, to release new research showcasing the fact that millions of American jobs rely on the U.S. global value chain and contribute to the American economy.
The report found that the U.S. average value-added exceeded 70 percent for the products analyzed. Making use of the global marketplace for the 98 percent of the apparel sold in the United States enables American companies to offer consumers the widest variety of apparel at the best prices while supporting millions of medium- to high-skilled jobs. The research also shows that tariffs routinely applied to apparel imports are among the highest levied on any industry, and can result in higher prices for consumers. The Coalition is committed to supporting policies that recognize the benefits of free trade that can help lower prices for consumers, increase demand and create more American jobs.
For a full copy of the report click here.
To learn more about the Coalition, including its expanding membership, visit www.usglobalvaluechain.com and follow us @USGVC.