‘As Retail Goes, So Goes America,’ VP Pence Tells Retailers
Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd of retail leaders in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that the best days for American retailers are ahead, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) report.
“I want to assure you that our president knows as retail goes, so goes America,” Pence told the audience of retailers at the NRF's Retail Advocates Summit. "Our administration is focused on the issues that will encourage economic growth, the growth that you’ll need to continue to succeed.”
Pence addressed more than 200 small retailers, national retail chain executives and state retail association officials who had gathered on Capitol Hill for the Summit. In his presentation, Pence praised the retail industry’s contributions to the economy.
“You’re one of the great job producers in America,” Pence said. “The National Retail Federation slogan really sums it up best — retail means jobs. And the best days for American retailers are ahead. I promise you that.”
Pence pledged to help pass pro-growth initiatives on issues from Obamacare repeal to tax reform, according to the NRF.
As for tax cuts, Pence said President Trump will deliver “the largest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan.” He said Trump’s proposal would lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from the current 35 percent and “put American companies — including our retailers — back on a path to jobs and growth.”
Pence also specifically pledged to end the federal estate tax, which makes it difficult for some family-owned retail businesses to be passed down from generation to generation. He emphasized Trump’s support for U.S.-made goods, but made no mention of a House proposal for a border adjustment tax on imported merchandise that threatens to drive up prices for consumers and put some retailers out of business.
In closing, Pence spoke about President Trump's latest efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. The conversation was timely because just a day earlier President Trump said that Congress should move ahead and repeal Obamacare if members of the legislative body couldn't agree on a new plan. The NRF has been a vocal advocate for the repeal of Obamacare because of provisions in the law that it views as unfair to retailers, such as a mandate for employers to provide health care coverage that drives up payroll costs and hampers job creation.
“Inaction is not an option,” Pence said. “Congress needs to step up, Congress needs to do their job and Congress needs to do their job now.”