February 10, 2021

Randy Rucker Discusses Biden Administration’s Trade Posture and Potential Retail Tariff Concerns With Women’s Wear Daily

In the Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) article “Retail Industry Awaits Biden’s Posture on Tariffs and Trade,” government and regulatory affairs partner Randy Rucker provides insight on the Biden administration’s possible approach to trade negotiations and mutual agreements and examines potential concerns related to Chinese imports and the supply chain.

“The takeaway is you have to invest in knowing your supply chain. Do you want to be involved in a WRO related to this issue? That's not going to be good for business.” Randy Rucker, Women’s Wear Daily

“Where the Trump administration had a competitive focus, in my opinion, I think Biden will focus on social justice issues related to the environment, related to human rights, workers’ rights, labor,” said Rucker on a panel for the Federal Bar Association Virtual Fashion Law Conference. “And while not necessarily protectionism, per se, the benefits of the trade posture that we’ve seen recently could allow the Biden administration to perhaps negotiate on some of those issues rather than the competitive approach that we saw in the last administration,” he added.

According to WWD, retailers are concerned about Section 301 tariffs on finished goods imports from China and are awaiting enforcement shifts and legislation on imports from the Xinjiang region. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also issuing withhold release orders (WROs) against cotton and other goods from the region, emphasizing the need for companies to rely less on China, supervise their supply chains and secure certifications on practices involved through the chain.

“The burden involved in trying to rebuild that supply chain is going to be astronomical,” noted Rucker. His takeaway was that you must “invest in knowing your supply chain” because being involved in a WRO related to this issue will not be good for business.

The full article is available for WWD subscribers.

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