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NRF applauds introduction of trade legislation

Washington - The National Retail Federation today said it has called on Congress to quickly approve a bill that would speed consideration of international trade agreements brought to Congress by the president.

The legislation is seen as critically important in order for the United States to conclude ongoing trade negotiations with Asia and Europe, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

"In order to sustain our economic recovery, spur further growth, and create opportunity through investment and job creation domestically, the country needs to renew its commitment to free markets and free enterprise internationally," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and ceo. "The trade agreements that will follow this legislation will strengthen our recovery and provide the framework for future economic and employment growth."

Shay added, "Trade agreements not only benefit U.S. retailers looking to open new stores and operations in new markets by addressing barriers and the millions of U.S. workers dependent on international trade but also American consumers who will see increased product selections and lower prices."

As the NRF explained it, the bill would renew the president's authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote without amendments. It would also let Congress establish negotiating objectives for trade agreements, enhance consultation between the executive and legislative branches, and establish procedures on how a trade agreement is submitted to Congress.

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