Matthew Shay. Image courtesy Businesswire

Matthew Shay. Image courtesy Businesswire

NRF, AAFA Urge President to Restart Talks on COVID Relief

The National Retail Federation and other prominent trade associations implored President Donald Trump to restart negotiations with congressional leaders to make a deal for a relief package for the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

On Oct. 6, President Trump announced that negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus package would restart after the November 3 presidential election. However, in an Oct. 7 tweet, the president indicated that he was interested in putting together a deal.

Matthew Shay, the NRF’s president and chief executive officer, said the president and congress needed to put aside politics for the sake of the country’s economic well-being.

“The pandemic isn’t over and neither is the economic crisis it has created,” Shay said. “There are many families still struggling to make ends meet and businesses facing obstacles to putting workers back on the payroll. We need a vaccine to ensure our personal health. And we need further stimulus to ensure we can fix an ailing economy, bring people back to work, and spur growth in communities large and small.”

Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said that a hold on negotiations could hurt the upcoming holiday season.

“The economy is not something that can be put on hold until a time that might be more convenient. People are suffering today. Now is the time to deploy all the tools in our toolbox, both to attack the underlying health crisis and to provide crucial liquidity and credit relief for manufacturers, brands, retailers and the workers they support,” Lamar said.

These trade groups have also been lobbying congress for a COVID relief bill. Last month, the AAFA, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Accessories Council and Travel Goods Association sent a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders urging them to help.

Among the measures they recommended were 16 additional weeks of the Payment Protection Program and Employee Retention Tax Credit