Open Markets for Consumer Goods
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NRF believes in policies that help American businesses compete in the world marketplace to expand and deliver customer value. The United States needs to reduce or eliminate – not create or expand – tariffs and other trade barriers that drive up prices for consumers and limit export markets for U.S. companies when other countries impose retaliatory barriers. In addition, with American brands serving as highly coveted status symbols for newly affluent citizens of nations with rapidly growing economies, Congress needs to make it easier for visitors from places like China, India and Brazil to travel here and shop in U.S. stores. Lawmakers also need to eliminate non-trade regulations that artificially drive up prices for consumers, such as the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate that has significantly increased the cost of food by requiring billions of gallons of corn-based ethanol to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply each year.
- Trade – Trade abuses need to be addressed, but new tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods from China and on products such as steel and aluminum from a variety of countries will only drive up prices for American consumers and harm U.S. jobs that rely on imports. Similarly, the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be modernized but withdrawing from NAFTA would harm U.S. consumers and workers.
- Travel Visas – NRF supports steps that have shortened visa processing waits for visitors from countries with rapidly growing economies like China, India and Brazil, but believes legislation is still needed in Congress to ensure that lengthy visa waits do not return.
- Renewable Fuel Standard – The federal Renewable Fuel Standard should be repealed because its mandate to use corn-based ethanol in gasoline drives up the price of corn and, in turn, a wide range of food for consumers, restaurants and food retailers alike.
The NRF Retail Opportunity Index encourages Congress to:
- Invest in U.S. jobs by implementing tax policy that makes U.S. companies competitive in the global economy and provides a level playing field among all sectors of the economy and all sectors of retail whether the merchant delivers its products in a store, through the mail or over the Internet.
- Open markets for consumer goods by tearing down trade barriers that drive up prices for American shoppers and limit export markets for American companies, ending regulations that artificially drive up prices, and making it easier for foreign visitors to come to the United States to shop.
- Modernize U.S. infrastructure by improving and expanding the current transportation system in order to end bottlenecks and inefficiencies and to make it easier for American companies to grow and be competitive.
- Support workforce investment by supporting jobs and economic growth rather than union organizers and expensive new regulations and mandates.
- Foster innovation in customer experience by working with retailers to improve credit and debit card security through agreed-upon standards rather than bank-issued mandates, and to protect privacy while still being able to give shoppers a customized and personalized experience online and in-store.
- Promote technology development by passing reform legislation that would block frivolous lawsuits threatened by “patent trolls” over dubious infringement claims.
- Policy Agenda
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- NRF RetailPAC
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- Vote Retail
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Trade benefits businesses with lower costs and families with reduced prices. Family-friendly trade agreements have the potential to reduce or eliminate high taxes now applied to U.S. imports of many basic consumer goods like food, clothing and shoes.
Find out how the retail industry impacts jobs, income and GDP in your state. View the map and check out the data.