The Retail industry Leaders Association (RILA) applauded President Obama today for formally submitting the three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) to Congress for approval, moving them one step closer to completion. Stephanie Lester, RILA Vice President of International Trade issued the following statement.
“We applaud President Obama for formally initiating the widely anticipated process to approve the three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. This action allows Congress to finally consider and approve the country’s topmost trade agenda items later this month. A proactive trade agenda, including these important FTAs, will create new economic opportunities, promote U.S. exports, and sustain and grow well-paying U.S. jobs that rely on trade. RILA looks forward to bipartisan support in Congress for all three trade agreements, as well as renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences and Trade Adjustment Assistance.”
“American merchants and consumers will benefit from a robust and proactive trade agenda, including the implementation of these agreements, which can foster U.S. economic growth and job creation. Once the pending FTAs are ratified, RILA urges policymakers to devote more attention to other job-creating trade items, such as the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
“We thank Congress and the Administration for their continued bipartisan support for the trade agenda, and we look forward to working on next steps in a swift and successful approval process for the FTAs.”
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.