NRF: Executive Order Authorizing Tariff Deferrals Helps Retail

In a move to address the coronavirus crisis, President Donald Trump has issued an executive order giving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the authority to defer certain tariff payments.

The order stated: “The secretary shall consider taking appropriate action under section 1318(a) of title 19, United States Code, to temporarily extend deadlines, for importers suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID-19, for the estimated payments described therein.”

The National Retail Federation responded to the executive action by issuing a statement from its president and CEO Matthew Shay: “The White House announcement that the government is providing a limited duty deferral for importers is welcome news to retailers struggling to find any good news during this extremely difficult time. We encourage the administration to broaden these deferrals for additional relief. Retailers don’t build stores, buy products and hire associates only to close their doors for weeks at a time. The challenges to the retail industry brought on by this pandemic are severely acute, at best. This deferral provides some retailers with additional liquidity and better cash flow, giving hope for business continuity and a faster recovery once the pandemic has passed.”