Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / NRF asks Obama to reconsider new ban on registered lobbyists serving on committees

NRF asks Obama to reconsider new ban on registered lobbyists serving on committees

09
Oct '09
The National Retail Federation asked President Obama to reconsider a new ban on registered lobbyists serving on committees created by Congress that advise the Administration on international trade policy issues.

“A primary reason the Administration has identified for instituting this policy is purportedly to reduce the influence of 'special interests' in Washington,” NRF Vice President and International Trade Counsel Erik Autor said. “This claim begs the questions of how does one define 'the public interest' in trade policy and why would inclusion on trade advisory committees of public policy advocate representing all sectors of the U.S. economy be inimical with the public interest however it is defined?”

“If the concern is to ensure the inclusiveness of the committees in order to advance the public interest, then the answer is to broaden – not restrict – participation in them,” Autor said. Given that the committees are only advisory and have no decision-making power, “it is truly puzzling to suppose that including registered lobbyists in this mechanism would make Administration officials unduly vulnerable to the 'corrupting influence of special interests.' ”

Autor's comments came in a letter sent today to President Obama and copied to congressional leadership.

Autor is vice chairman of the 12-member Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Distribution Services, one of 16 Industry Trade Advisory Committees created under the Trade Act of 1974, and has served on the panel for 10 years. The committees consist of representatives of companies and trade associations in a wide variety of industries involved with international trade and are administered jointly by the Commerce Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The Obama Administration announced September 23 that it intended to ban federally registered lobbyists from the committees, and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk made it official on Wednesday in a memo to committee members. Autor and other registered lobbyists will be required to step down in February, when the panels are scheduled to be rechartered.

Autor disputed Kirk's contention that removing trade association lobbyists from the committees would allow more small businesses to have a voice in international trade issues. Most small business owners don't have the technical expertise to advise policymakers and rely on experts at their trade associations to do so on their behalf, Autor said. Most also can't afford the travel costs or time away from their businesses to come to Washington to participate, he said. NRF members include hundreds of small stores and NRF speaks on behalf on an industry that includes more than one million small businesses.

“Excluding industry trade association representatives from participation on trade advisory committees will result in large companies dominating industry viewpoints, and the voice of small business through their industry trade associations, who are able to provide viewpoints from the perspective of an entire industry, will be largely eliminated,” Autor said. Even individual companies may lack the expertise of trade associations, so substituting them for associations means the quality of advice received from the committees will be “substantially diminished.”


Must ReadView All

Pic: Better Work

Apparel/Garments | On 24th Oct 2020

Positive change in Cambodian garment sector due to ILO BWP

Cambodian factories receiving the full package of services by Better...

Pic: Awaj Foundation

Apparel/Garments | On 24th Oct 2020

COVID erodes income of a third of Bangla apparel workers

Nearly a third of Bangladeshi garment workers suffered loss of...

Pic: Ralph Lauren

Fashion | On 24th Oct 2020

Ralph Lauren, Parity.org convene group to close gender gap

Ralph Lauren, which designs and markets premium lifestyle products,...

Interviews View All

Riddhika Shah, SS Homme

Riddhika Shah
SS Homme

'Worsted wool is the ideal fabric for menswear'

Karin Ekberg, Leadership & Sustainability

Karin Ekberg
Leadership & Sustainability

Sustainable models are beneficial for brands, retailers and manufacturers

Dharmendra Shah, Ozone PB Spintex Limited

Dharmendra Shah
Ozone PB Spintex Limited

‘We have made huge investments to ensure quality yarn production.’

Paolo Crespi,

Paolo Crespi

Japan's Epson, a leader in digital textile printing, Italy's For.Tex, a...

Nuria Estape,

Nuria Estape

Archroma is a global colour and specialty chemicals company headquartered...

Sham Shah,

Sham Shah

Shamal and Shamal Pvt Ltd is into manufacturing and sales of textile...

Giulio Cesareo, Directa Plus SpA

Giulio Cesareo
Directa Plus SpA

Established in 2005, Direct Plus SpA, is one of the largest producers and...

Urs Stalder, Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder
Sanitized AG

Urs Stalder, CEO, Sanitized AG, talks about the increasing use of hygiene...

Andreas Lukas, Andritz Nonwoven

Andreas Lukas
Andritz Nonwoven

With forces in engineering and process development, Andritz Nonwoven...

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao, Nayaab

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao
Nayaab

Nayaab, an exhibition meant to celebrate Indian weaves, is in its second...

Akta Adani, India Boulevard

Akta Adani
India Boulevard

India Boulevard is a San Francisco-based curated fashion marketplace that...

Tony Ward, Tony Ward

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


October 2020

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Advanced Search