WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the Trump administration’s decision to hold off on tariff increases that were set to take effect January 2019.
“We commend President Trump for his efforts to restore a fair and balanced trade relationship with China. The administration’s decision to give diplomacy a chance and at least temporarily avoid the imposition of increased and additional tariffs is an encouraging sign.
“It is clear the administration has heard the voices of those negatively impacted by existing tariffs. We hope this 90-day tariff pause will lead to a positive resolution that removes tariffs altogether and improves US-China trade relations.
“Retailers are pleased by this progress. At the same time, uncertainty over the future of NAFTA remains. To protect American jobs and critical North American supply chains, the administration should continue to work through the process until a modernized, trilateral agreement is approved by Congress.”
NRF and a coalition of nearly 150 organizations representing retailers, farmers, manufacturers and technology companies sent a letter to the White House last week urging the administration to negotiate with China and forgo a January 2019 tariff increase.
NRF and small retail members also held meetings with the administration last week ahead of the G20 Summit to express the importance of removing existing tariffs and avoiding future increases.
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest-private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.