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RILA sends letter to presidential candidates


Arlington, Va. -- In letters sent to President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the Retail Industry Leaders Association urged both to consider the retail industry’s prominent role in the U.S. economy as they advance their visions for the future.

The letter was signed by Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO and Sandra L. Kennedy, RILA president. Steinhafel serves as chairman of the RILA board of directors.

“As this year’s political debate unfolds, we welcome the attention that has been paid to three issues of critical importance to all Americans: how to create jobs, speed our economic recovery and avert the certain disaster that would befall America if the fiscal cliff is not properly addressed. With that focus in mind, we write to underscore the importance of the retail industry in our economy and the critical role the industry will play in its revitalization. Indeed, the vibrant economy we all seek cannot exist without a robust retail industry,” said Steinhafel and Kennedy in the letter.

The retail industry is America’s second-largest private sector employer. Nearly 18 million Americans are employed in retail jobs and 10 million more are reliant on the industry for work.

The letter continued:

“[W]hen economic challenges strike or government actions such as harmful regulations and overly burdensome taxes emerge, the harm caused often affects the many individuals and industries reliant on retail. Conversely, when the environment is conducive to growth, entire communities can benefit from the retail industry’s success.

“As you advance your vision for growing the economy, we urge you to consider policies that bolster a vibrant retail industry, allowing it to grow, add jobs and better serve consumers.”

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