Perspectives: Kelly Caruso and Keri Jones Talk Trade Agenda

April 16, 2015 - Article reads in
Headshots of Kelly Caruso and Keri Jones

A Bullseye View “Perspectives” is a forum for Target’s top executives to share their point of view on everything from industry trends to best business practices. In the story below, Keri Jones, Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Operations, and Kelly Caruso, President, Target Sourcing Services, detail Target’s position on trade.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of guests shop at Target. They ask us to help them find on-trend apparel and accessories, as well as everyday essentials, all at good prices.  But these days, one of the best deals for our guests is in Washington, D.C. where Congress is considering a historic new trade agenda. Congress’s work begins with passing a bill called Trade Promotion Authority, which would give a green light to closing a trade negotiation between 12 countries in the Asia Pacific called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It’s a significant moment for America’s economy, and we’d like to share why it’s so important to Target.

First, trade is important to Target because it puts more money in our guest’s wallets by growing the economy and creating jobs. In fact, expanding trade has added more than $13,000 to the average American household's annual income and current trade negotiations could add an additional $2,000 to that same family's income. When families are better off because of trade, our stores are, too.  And what’s good for our stores is good for our team members, the communities where we do business, and our suppliers, logistics companies, vendors and other partners throughout our global supply chain.

Next, Target guests demand value and we do our best to deliver it. But America’s current tariff system, the taxes the government charges on imports, works against all of us by taxing basic consumer imports at a higher rate than luxury imports. In other words, our guests pay higher taxes on baby clothes, pajamas and t-shirts than fancier items like silk lingerie, cashmere sweaters and gold jewelry. Higher taxes on basic necessities just don’t make sense. Passing Trade Promotion Authority and implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will get rid of these taxes, letting Target pass more value on to our guests.

Finally, we know our guests demand not just good prices, but also quality products.  Sometimes this means Target sources from great local companies like Minnesota’s Duluth Pack or Faribault Woolen Mill. In other cases, we look to source goods from countries abroad. No matter where our merchandise comes from, Target requires it be made according to our own high standards and relevant local laws.  When we source Target products from overseas, free trade agreements help reinforce the standards we set for ourselves and our suppliers, including those for environmentally sustainable production, and safe and healthy working conditions.

We know our guests never like to miss a good deal. We hope Congress moves forward with a trade deal that is good for our guests and for all Americans.

Keri and Kelly

Don’t miss out on the latest Target news and behind-the-scenes happenings! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the top stories from A Bullseye View delivered straight to your inbox!