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Retailers Call for Action on TPA and Smarter Enforcement of Trade Rules

PRESS RELEASE: Arlington, VA – The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today emphasized the need for Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as quickly as possible and also highlighted the need for smarter enforcement of trade rules, as the Senate Committee on Finance held its hearing,”Trade Enforcement: Using Trade Rules to Level the Playing Field for U.S. Companies and Workers.”

“A successful trade agenda requires renewal of Trade Promotion Authority as soon as possible. TPA enables U.S. negotiators to open markets to U.S. goods and secure robust enforcement rules in our free trade agreements. Moreover, effective enforcement of trade rules depends on the United States having smarter and more timely rules to enforce,” said Stephanie Lester, vice president, international trade at RILA. “A modernized TPA will go a long way toward ensuring the best possible outcomes in pending and new U.S. trade negotiations, ensuring America remains competitive in the globalized economy.”

In addition to the passage of TPA legislation, RILA advocates for smarter enforcement of existing rules, such as more timely duty collections. The current “retrospective” antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) assessment system regime creates a substantial lag time for duty collections of more than three years, disadvantaging U.S. companies. A “prospective” AD/ CVD assessment system in the United States would improve duty collections and enforcement, decrease supply chain uncertainty, enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and more effectively prevent unfair trade.

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“It is time for the U.S. to join the rest of the world and adopt a ‘prospective’ regime for AD/CVD duty collections,” Lester continued. “The needless risk and uncertainty caused by the U.S. Government’s ‘retrospective’ regime undermines U.S. competitiveness and has allowed unfair trade to occur for years. The ‘retrospective’ system harms American businesses and jeopardizes jobs; collecting duties up front would efficiently and effectively level the playing field for U.S. companies and workers.”

A “prospective” collection of duties has repeatedly been recommended by both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC). A prospective system is less complex and uses fewer resources, and eliminates unfair trade before it occurs. Adopting this system is an efficient way of ensuring the market is fair for U.S. companies and their workers.

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.