WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation Monday issued the following statement from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay on the announcement that the United States and China have agreed to extend Chinese visas, business and tourist visas, from one year to 10 years:
“We applaud the administration for moving to reduce travel restraints on international shoppers and tourists. For the last three years, NRF and our partners in the Discover America Partnership have been advocating significant reforms to our visa policy, and we are happy to see progress on the National Travel and Tourism Strategy.
“Today’s announcement is a win-win. It will help make the United States a first-rate destination for Chinese visitors, increase cultural and economic exchange between the world’s two largest economies, and produce tangible economic benefits for American businesses and workers, especially those in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors.
“Encouraging more international shoppers to visit the United States to eat at our restaurants, stay at our hotels and shop in our stores is a retail industry priority. We applaud the U.S. and Chinese governments on this joint announcement.”
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.