RILA to presidential candidates: Pursue pro-retail policies

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association is urging President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney to consider the retail industry's role in the U.S. economy as the presidential candidates "advance their visions for the future."

In letters sent to both politicians, RILA president Sandra Kennedy and RILA board chairman Gregg Steinhafel — who also serves as chairman, president and CEO of Target — said that, "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," Kennedy and Steinhafel wrote. "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."

Kennedy and Steinhafel noted that the retail industry is America's second-largest private-sector employer and while the retail industry's size and contribution to the economy cannot be understated, it is also hypersensitive to economic fluctuations and government regulations.

"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," Kennedy and Steinhafel said.

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