International trade supports millions of American jobs and is essential to the U.S. economy, the National Retail Federation says in a report that provides a state-by-state breakdown of the benefits of trade. According to NRF, trade supports nearly seven million retail jobs and benefits American businesses, families and workers.
Was there ever a time when trade wasn't a polarizing subject? Judging from the endless debate, it's either the key to economic prosperity, or a catastrophe for the common worker. There seems to be no middle ground.
For two decades U.S. presidents have consistently shared views on the need for a "level playing field." President Bill Clinton in 1992, President George W. Bush in 2008, and, most recently, President Obama in this year's State of the Union: "Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you"”America will always win." Despite that shared rhetoric, the weakness of the U.S. economy over the past few years has helped obscure the Obama administration's disappointing record on trade.
Analyst Insight: Over the last three years the retail industry has seen a great many changes, helping to streamline retail supply chains and create more cost savings for retailers. This efficiency-driven approach was in large part a response to the "great recession," and it has sustained the industry through these challenging times, putting them in a greater position for success as we look ahead to the future. So where do we go from here? - Casey Chroust, executive vice president, Retail Industry Leaders Association