NRF in Washington: Advocacy update May 2021

Key policy priorities for the retail industry

As the economy opens up and more people get vaccinated, NRF expects consumer spending to increase into the summer and especially around summer holidays where friends and family can finally celebrate together. While retailers continue to navigate this new phase of the pandemic to meet customer needs and changing guidelines, NRF has continued to make progress on its policy priorities on behalf of the retail industry. As we head into the summer, the following issues remain key priorities:

  • Working toward a bipartisan approach to infrastructure investment that will modernize the nation’s ports, roads and rails that our supply chains depend on. NRF broadly welcomed President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan to improve the nation’s infrastructure system but denounced corporate tax increases as a means to pay for it.
  • Protecting the 21 percent corporate tax rate that has allowed retailers to invest billions in their workers, their stores and their ecommerce capabilities. An increase in the corporate income tax rate will harm wages, investment and consumer spending across the economy and within the retail sector. Learn more about NRF’s concerns with the corporate tax rate increase proposal.
  • Restoring the U.S. economy to the growth rate prior to COVID-19 by improving global trade relations, particularly China trade policy. NRF continues to call for a reset of the U.S.-China trade relationship, especially elimination of the China 301 tariffs. We are helping lead the Americans for Free Trade coalition, which continues to call for a removal of the U.S. and China retaliatory tariffs.
  • Opposing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) that would strip American workers of critical rights and flexible work opportunities by unfairly tilting the balance in the labor organizing process toward Big Labor. Learn more about this misguided proposal.
  • Reducing payment costs by addressing swipe fees and related credit and debit card issues. NRF asked to intervene in longstanding class-action litigation brought by merchants against Visa and Mastercard over fees charged to process credit card transactions. We filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court.
  • Supporting targeted stimulus and COVID-19 relief to get retailers and other small businesses back on their feet. NRF and nearly 100 other business groups voiced their support of the PPP Extension Act of 2021 to help businesses keep their workforces employed during the pandemic.
  • Supporting a balanced approach to data privacy that will establish a preemptive federal law that benefits both consumers and businesses. NRF recently welcomed a new privacy bill introduced by Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Chair of the House New Democrat Coalition, that would create a uniform, nationwide privacy law that preempts state privacy laws. The bill received NRF's support and the support of the Main Street Privacy Coalition, which NRF co-founded in 2019. Learn more about the need for a preemptive federal privacy bill in NRF’s blog post.
  • Supporting pragmatic immigration reform including passage of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 that will provide certainty and stability to millions of Dreamers and the economy they support. NRF key voted the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which passed the House 228-197 on March 18, 2021. We will continue to urge both sides to find middle ground on immigration reform and pass this long-overdue legislation.
  • Advancing pragmatic corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals by exploring retail’s role within public policies such as climate change, ESG reporting requirements, and recycling and circular economy infrastructure.
  • Expanding insurance coverage for retailers forced to close by incidents such as the pandemic. NRF is seeking passage of the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, which would expand business interruption insurance to cover future incidents similar to the coronavirus pandemic.

NRF is committed to sharing the latest insights and updates impacting retailers and the industry. Members can take advantage of briefings customized for their company’s needs on topics including the latest policy landscape assessment for 2021 and upcoming industry and consumer research. Connect with our policy, industry and research experts and learn more.

Related content

Imagining a world in which the PRO Act is law
 
Distribution center
How the bill’s extreme provisions could manifest in your community.
Read more
4 ways the PRO Act hurts small businesses
 
Small businesses
Small business owners weigh in on the bill’s impact.
Read more
Retailers Say House Bill to Expand Union Powers
 
Small businesses
NRF says legislation passed by the House expanding labor unions' power should be rejected by the Senate.
Read more