International Trade Supports Seven Million Retail Jobs, Says Report
International trade “supports millions of American jobs and is essential to the U.S. economy,” concludes a new report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
A state-by-state breakdown of the perceived benefits of trade, the report—Trade Matters for Retailers and Families—includes details on the number of trade-supported retail jobs in each state and forecasts the economic impact of pending trade agreements such as the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deals.
Each state survey “provides detailed information about retail’s importance to the state, how trade matters to retail in the state and how pending trade agreements could provide significant job and consumer gains to local retailers and families,” the report said.
For example, the report says that U.S. two-way trade supported nearly 212,000 Georgia retail and restaurant jobs in 2013, about 17 percent of the state’s 1.2 million trade-related jobs, while Georgia-based retailers have more than 1,700 subsidiaries in other countries and about 270 Georgia retail locations are subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies.
The study found that, in 2013, retail and restaurant companies in Nebraska directly added $7.5 billion to the state’s economy, creating 201,000 jobs in the state—about one in seven—more than any other sector. That year, trade supported nearly 47,000 Nebraska retail and restaurant jobs, about 17 percent of the state’s 284,000 trade-related jobs.
“FREE AND OPEN TRADE IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE U.S. ECONOMY,” SAYS NRF CHIEF
“Free and open trade is an essential element of the U.S. economy and its continued expansion and prosperity,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“International trade benefits American consumers and families with lower-priced and more-diverse goods, supports millions of American jobs, and creates new investment opportunities for American businesses and retailers, large and small, both here and abroad,” Shay says.
The NRF has been an outspoken advocate of free trade, and the proposed TPP and TTIP trade agreements, as well as the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority, which would require the White House to consult with Congress to set negotiating objectives and priorities and require Congress to hold a straight up-or-down vote once trade agreements are finalized.
“We applaud congressional action to renew trade promotion authority,” Shay continues. “It is critical that Congress quickly consider the bill in order to advance pending trade agreements with our allies and trading partners in Asia and Europe. … We hope this report helps Congress understand the positive role that international trade plays in individual states and congressional districts.”