Canadian Retailer - Summer 2011 - (Page 14)

| RCC: IN YOUR BEST INTEREST RCC LEADS FIGHT TO REMOVE OUTDATED TARIFFS AND DUTIES ON IMPORTED CONSUMER GOODS R etail Council of Canada (RCC) has been making news lately with the association’s calls on government to cut tariffs and duties on imported consumer goods – duties and tariffs that negatively impact the competitiveness of Canadian retailers, ultimately hurting the industry as a whole. Underscoring this issue for retailers in the country has been the increased recent public debate concerning "price parity" at the retail level with American retailers, resulting in Canadian consumers asking the question: why are prices of certain goods still higher in Canada than they are in the United States? On behalf of the Canadian retail industry, RCC is leading the charge in educating consumers with respect to the various factors that influence the price of goods in Canada. Some of these include: the relative sizes of our economies; the prices Canadian retailers are charged at the wholesale level; and other fixed costs which are charged in Canadian dollars. There are, however, other cost pressures that can be eliminated. One of the most significant opportunities for price relief falls under the authority of the Minister of Finance and where RCC is focusing much of its effort – an unfair and outdated system of duties and tariffs. On certain items imported to Canada, retailers pay significantly more by way of import taxes to bring goods to market. Canadian retailers have identified a number of mainstream consumer products that are subject to such import duties for no reason other than the fact that they have never been successfully challenged or captured by free trade negotiations before. Most Canadians, however, are unaware of the tremendous and negative impact that duties and tariffs have on the price of goods at the retail level. These fees were originally put in place to protect domestic producers from cheaper foreign imports. The problem today is that, in many cases, the domestic producer in question no longer exists, resulting in the duty serving no other purpose than to raise prices for all retailers that import goods from abroad. The problem with this system is that many Canadian consumers don’t understand that when the duty is subtracted from the price of items such as hockey equipment or shoes, the Canadian retail price is often on par or in some cases even lower than the price of the same product found south of the border. This actuality reflects the healthy competition that exists among Canadian retailers. To help Canadian retailers in their fight against unfair duties and tariffs, RCC has launched an education and ad- vocacy campaign meant to target Members of Parliament, Senators and senior public servants about the issue in order to seek relief from the fees, which will allow Canadian retailers to become more competitive with their American counterparts. The association’s initial campaign is focused on sporting and household goods and essential items that a typical family would purchase. RCC recognizes that the contribution of the retail sector is critical to the overall strength of the Canadian economy. Therefore it’s essential that the entire industry shares a common interest toward ensuring that Canadian retailers remain viable and competitive. It’s undoubted that Canadian retailers will continue to do whatever they can to ensure that Canadian consumers receive the greatest value for their hard-earned money. However, RCC believes that it is the responsibility of those in Ottawa to ensure that government does its part to ease the burden that duties and tariffs place on the Canadian retail industry, and is calling for a measure to remove import duties on consumer goods, some of which are basic necessities, to properly serve the public interest. It is only in this way that government can provide immediate relief for hard-working Canadian families while increasing consumer purchasing power and the strength of the country’s economy. To get involved and join in the fight against outdated import duties and tariffs, contact Anne Kothawala, Acting Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs, Retail Council of Canada at 1-888-373-8245 ext. 318, or via email at 14 | canadian retailer | summer 2011 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Summer 2011

Canadian Retailer - Summer 2011
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Mobile Retail
Leadership Series
In Your Best Interest
Sector Spotlight
Retail Innovation
LP Roundtable
LP Technology
PCI Compliance
Technology Leadership
Training and Education
Advertisers’ Index
Have Your Say

Canadian Retailer - Summer 2011