RILA’s statement on U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s congressional hearings on the U.S. trade policy agenda

Arlington, VA, 2015-1-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today issued the following statement surrounding U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s appearance before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee to discuss the U.S. trade policy agenda:

“RILA welcomes the continued commitment U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has shown toward our nation’s trade policy agenda,” said Jennifer Safavian, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at RILA. “Trade is crucial to the retail industry and to breaking down barriers to provide open access to products and markets around the world.Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) could create tremendous new opportunities for generations of American workers, and we call on Congress to take action as soon as possible.”

Since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, Congress has authorized every Republican and Democratic President to exercise TPA. The resulting trade agreements have led to the opening of new markets for American companies and workers, and helped ensure a rules-based system for two-way trade. Increasing the access U.S. businesses have to foreign markets is more important than ever, but continued growth is in jeopardy because Congress has not renewed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) since 2007.

Sandy Kennedy, RILA’s President, is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and has been very clear on the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)  legislation and international trade on the retail industry.Read her op-ed from October on the issue: .

Facts on Trade and TPA:

Trade Agreements Open Markets For U.S. Businesses Around The World. 95% of the world’s population lives outside the United States – trade agreements break down foreign barriers, helping American companies, farmers, and workers sell more goods and services to global consumers.

Global Trade Has A Proven Record Of Promoting U.S. Economic Growth And Job Creation. U.S. exports helped drive the U.S. economy and its recovery in recent years:

  • More than 1 in 5 American jobs are supported by international trade
  • Exports account for nearly 14 percent of overall U.S. GDP; and since 2004, U.S. exports have grown faster than GDP
  • U.S. businesses exported a record $2.3 trillion worth of products and services in 2013.

TPA Strengthens Congress’ Role In Shaping U.S. Trade Agreements. TPA gives Congress more input into trade agreements by informing the Executive Branch what the key negotiating objectives should be.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


Allie Brandenburger
Senior Director, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2063