The Retail Industry Leaders Association issued the following statement at the close of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial meeting in Singapore. RILA’s vice president for international trade was in Singapore for the talks with the twelve countries, meeting with negotiators and other stakeholders.
“Immediate duty-free market access for apparel is a priority for retailers in the TPP. Duty-free market access would benefit hard-working American families, both in billions of dollars in duty savings and in supporting millions of American jobs that are part of the apparel global value chains,” emphasized Stephanie Lester, RILA’s vice president for international trade.
“It is clear that the TPP countries have a shared goal to conclude the TPP. Ambitious and comprehensive market access is key to a successful outcome. We look to all countries to offer comprehensive market access liberalization,” continued Lester. “We also urge Congress to renew trade promotion authority as quickly as possible to facilitate a robust trade agenda.”
The TPP is a prospective regional free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. “It is estimated that a successful TPP agreement would boost global income by $295 billion a year, with $78 billion of that accruing to the United States,” Lester concluded, citing a study by the Peterson Institute.
Economic studies establish that 70 percent of the retail value of apparel imported into the United States is generated in the United States by American workers. This translates into 3 million good-paying U.S. jobs that would benefit from a robust TPP agreement that provides immediate duty-free market access for qualifying goods.
RILA reiterates its support for a 21st Century TPP agreement that generates new trade and investment opportunities in all sectors for the benefit of American workers, businesses, and families. These opportunities include buying and selling goods and services, sustaining and growing well-paying U.S jobs, and providing high added value for the U.S. and TPP economies.
RILA supports the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as the Trade Priorities Act, to establish Congressional priorities and consultation procedures for international trade agreements. TPA provides trade policy direction to the president, and allows the President to pursue free trade agreements that create new trade and investment opportunities. Every U.S. President should have this authority.
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.