Posted at 5:16 PM
Today, Secretary Penny Pritzker touted the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) Board of Directors during its meeting in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pritzker also updated the Chief Executive Officers from numerous retail companies on the latest developments related to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. This meeting, and previous meetings held by Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, strengthened relations between the Department of Commerce and the nation’s leaders in retail and manufacturing.
RILA represents the world’s largest retail companies. Its members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad. Today, more than 15.6 million Americans are working in the retail industry, its highest level ever.
During her remarks, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the importance of the retail industry to the national economy and TPP. While TPP will help American companies in many different sectors, our retail industry stands to see some of the greatest benefits. On the first day the agreement takes effect, all duties on apparel imports from TPP countries meeting the rule of origin will be cut, and 85 percent of footwear products will be duty-free. Ultimately, brands and retailers could save as much as $2.4 billion in duties on apparel and footwear.
She explained the history of the work leading up to the Privacy Shield as the United States approaches the EU member state vote on the draft. She also provided an overview of the Department of Commerce’s close collaboration with its European Union counterparts while the two sides continue to address key issues related to the draft framework.
Furthermore, Secretary Pritzker explained the importance of retail industry leaders’ involvement in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In doing so, she conveyed how TPP will help American companies in many different sectors and will directly affect tariffs on goods, specifically apparel and footwear. She closed her remarks with a call for all retail industry leaders to unify to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to work together to strengthen the U.S. economy.