American president Barrack Obama’s proposals for the retail industry in his State of the Union address has been welcomed by The National Retail Federation (NRF) that touched a wide range of issues affecting the retail industry.
The association has specifically voiced support for a uniform national data breach notification standard outlined by Obama.
NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay however cautioned that enforcement might need more than 30 days for conducting an investigation before breaches are publicly revealed.
Shay also welcomed Obama’s call for two years of free community college education, which could pave way for a national debate on educational investment, benefitting the retail sector by narrowing the skills gap for workers who increasingly use cutting-edge technology.
In a statement, Shay said: "The President has opened the door for thorough and deliberate debate on a wide range of significant issues affecting the retail industry and, in turn, our nation’s economy.
"From taxes to education to cybersecurity, these are all topics that will ultimately have a profound impact on consumer behavior and businesses’ efforts to create jobs badly needed by millions of still-struggling Americans. As the nation’s largest private sector employer, the retail industry looks forward to working with The White House and Congress in the months to come."
In a letter sent to Obama prior to his address, NRF urged for tax reform, adding that at 35% the US corporate tax rate is the highest in the world.
"Retailers are among the nation’s strongest advocates of comprehensive tax reform, and President Obama’s focus on tax policy shines a spotlight we hope will result in action on this long-delayed issue.
"We urgently need to close loopholes that benefit only a few industries and use the tax revenue that would be saved to lower tax rates for all businesses, large and small, in order to restore the United States to its rightful position as the most competitive nation in the global marketplace," Shay said.
NRF also urged Obama to ease restrictions on international trade, immigration reform, cybersecurity, transportation infrastructure and amending the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide health insurance to "full-time" workers so it can be applied to those working 40 hours a week rather than 30.
NRF also cited legislation on Internet sales tax collection in the letter, which passed the Senate but not the House in the last session of Congress, and patent litigation reform, which passed the House but not the Senate. The association hopes that debate on these issues could start afresh.