(OTTAWA) - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) recognizes today as a landmark day for retailers with the fulfilment of the government's commitment to eliminating tariffs on baby clothes and sporting and athletic equipment.
"We want to thank Minister Flaherty for delivering on his commitment and eliminating these tariffs as part of a joint pilot project with RCC," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC. "These significant changes represent a win-win-win for consumers, retailers and our government by allowing our members to better compete with their US counterparts and keeping Canadian dollars in Canada."
As part of the government's Economic Action Plan 2013, tabled last week, the Minister announced "$76 million of tariff relief on baby clothing and sports and athletic equipment to benefit Canadian families and retailers" and challenged wholesalers, distributors and retailers to pass the savings on to consumers.
"Our members have reacted very positively to the announcement in last week's Budget," said Brisebois. "But I want to caution the public that they are not likely to see changes overnight. Retailers have to deal with existing stock, complex contracts and pricing agreements so it may take a number of months before we start to see the benefits of these changes."
RCC has committed to work with the Department of Finance to monitor how the market reacts to these changes and will continue to advocate for the elimination of all outdated and unnecessary tariffs.
"The cuts in domestic tariffs implemented today are an important first step in ensuring that Canadian retailers can deliver the best value to our customers" Ms. Brisebois said. She went on to caution that "the beneficial impact of these cuts cannot be undermined by other tariff changes announced in Budget 2013 that will see increased costs for imports for over 70 countries around the world."
Brisebois concluded by saying that our government cannot "give with one hand and then take away with the other". She said that RCC would continue to be vigilant in working with the Harper government to ensure Canadian retailers compete on a level playing field and government tariff policy is structured to deliver the best value to Canadians."
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.