NRF in Washington: Advocacy update September 2021

Key policy priorities for the retail industry

As summer comes to an end, consumers appear willing to spend despite a tight supply chain and subsiding government stimulus programs. Congress is back in session and NRF continues to make progress on policy priorities on behalf of the retail industry. The following issues remain key priorities:

  • Supporting the passage of historic infrastructure investment that will modernize the nation’s ports, roads and rails that our supply chains depend on. Congress is working to pass a bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure bill, which NRF key voted in support of. The bill would address decades of underinvestment in the nation’s infrastructure system. Learn more about how supply chains depend on modern infrastructure.
  • 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. NRF is strongly opposed to a corporate rate increase to 28 percent, which is expected to be included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. We raised serious concerns with the package’s spending levels and tax rate increase proposal in a key vote letterLearn more about NRF’s concerns with the corporate tax rate increase 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. In addition, NRF activated over 800 retailers and associates who sent comments to the Federal Reserve in support of a proposed rule that would allow retailers to decide where to route online debit card transactions for processing. This proposed regulation will positively impact retailers by increasing competition needed over the fees banks and card networks charge merchants to process card transactions.  Learn more about why fair and competitive payments reform is needed. Read NRF’s comments to the Federal Reserve’s proposed rule.
Action Center

Stay up-to-date with the latest action alerts and policy issues at the NRF Action Center.

  • 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.
  • 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 federal cybersecurity initiatives that enhance government information sharing and technical support to private industry and provide legal protections to companies that share information on cyber threats with agencies. NRF also supports initiatives that enhance the security and resiliency of IT service providers that operate systems and applications to support retail business operations. NRF welcomed President Biden’s Executive Order that addresses the growing cyber risks from the software supply chain and shifts the focus away from holding end users of software and services as the sole accountable party for cyber incidents.
  • 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.

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