The recently negotiated Trans-Pacic Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will have a positive impact on both retailers and American consumers once enacted, according to a report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF). NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the US and more than 45 countries.
“This report shows the importance of international trade to the US economy and how TPP creates economic growth and opportunity in the US,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Congress should move quickly to approve this agreement so American workers, consumers and businesses can begin to realise those advantages as soon as possible.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement holds potential for retailers and American families report reveals that prices of imported retail merchandise are driven up considerably by taris, which amount to hidden taxes on consumers that can range as high as 67.5% on footwear or 32% on apparel, for example. Tariffs on goods from TPP countries totalled nearly US$6 billion last year and nearly all would eventually be eliminated after the measure is enacted, which would benefit consumers through lower prices.
The report found that international trade is a major supporter of US employment, accounting for 6.9 million US jobs in the retail industry.
“The TPP will have a significant positive impact on American families, workers and the retailers who seek to provide them with a wide range of goods at affordable prices,” said the report, which was prepared for NRF by e Trade Partnership. “It will lower costs across global supply chains in the TPP region and those lower costs will be reflected in US price tags … Families will bent from greater spending power both from lower prices and higher wages.”
In addition to the economic value of eliminating taris, the report highlighted labour and environmental protections in the agreement that would be valuable to US retailers.
“TPP will make it much easier for retailers to ensure that factories in TPP countries adhere to labor and environment conditions in their codes of conduct,” the report said, citing prohibitions against child and forced labor and protections for endangered species.
Meanwhile, in connection with this development, the NRF welcomed a new report from the US International Trade Commission conrming that the TPP trade deal would have a positive impact on the US economy.
“Retailers welcome this report as further conrmation that tearing down barriers to trade benets everyone,” said David French, NRF’s senior vice-president of Government Relations. “TPP will open up new international markets for US-produced goods, provide consumers with more choices, lower prices by removing taris and boost our nation’s overall economy. Consensus is growing that Congress needs to act swiftly to approve this landmark trade agreement.”
The commission’s study found that enactment of TPP would boost US annual real income by US$57.3 billion over 15 years, increase gross domestic product by US$42.7 billion and create 128,000 jobs. Exports to countries covered by the agreement would increase by US$34.6 billion and imports would increase US$23.4 billion.