The 2016 U.S. presidential election came to an end Nov. 9, with Republican Donald Trump defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton, a turnout that shocked many pollsters and observers. The real estate developer and former reality television star, along with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will take office Jan 20, 2017, making him the 45th president of the United States.
The election proved to be one of the most divisive in U.S. history, with many pundits and observers wondering how long it will take for the country to heal from the negative tones and lack of civility witnessed throughout the campaign. However, the retail industry showed signs that it is ready to move forward, with a number of associations pledging to work with the newly elected leaders in Washington.
Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation pledged to work with Trump and the new Congress on a “pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda,” noting that retailers are glad the election – along with the impact it had on consumers concerned about their future – is over, especially with the holiday season upon them.
“It is time to bring all Americans together, working in a bipartisan fashion to address the pressing needs of the day,” he said. "The next few months will offer many opportunities for us to educate lawmakers on our priorities, such as tax reform and investment in our nation's infrastructure, as well as pro-growth policies that create jobs and reward capital investment. If this election taught us anything, it is the importance of focusing on policies and programs that not only benefit today's economy, but the economy of the future and our next generation of workers.
Continued Shay: "As President Trump begins staffing his administration, we are hopeful that pragmatism will prevail over ideology so that all branches of government can work together for the benefit of retailers, their associates, the consumers they serve and the communities where they live and work."
The Arlington, Va.-based Retail Industry Leaders Association also reached out to Trump, noting that it looks forward to working with him on a number of issues, including comprehensive tax reform, competition and innovation in the payments market, investment in transportation and infrastructure, and sound labor and workforce policies.
“Given that the retail industry is the nation’s second largest private employer, we look forward to working together with the new President and Congress to ensure that retailers can grow, create new jobs and provide retail employees with work, opportunity and the skills for career success.”
Meanwhile, the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., said it welcomes the chance to work with the newly elected leaders in Washington on such issues as food safety, immigration reform, nutrition, federal agricultural policy and international trade.
“We are honored to be your voice in the nations’ capitol, working day-in and day-out in a bipartisan manner on an unwavering produce industry public policy agenda,” said Robert Guenther, SVP, public policy with United Fresh. “We believe this is one of the most valuable strengths we offer to our association’s membership by bringing all friends to the table – Republican and Democrat, rural and urban, liberal and conservative. In turn, with any new election, our industry needs to continue building strong relationships and develop new ones that are vital to our success in enacting policy initiatives that promote our ability to deliver the most nutritious and abundant food supply to the American consumer.”