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RILA praises U.S.-Colombia trade deal

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Tuesday expressed support of this week’s announcement by President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on May 15.

"RILA and our members are delighted to see that the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will finally be realized next month. We applaud President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their work to implement this long-anticipated trade promotion agreement," said Stephanie Lester, VP international trade.

"The Colombia FTA will benefit retailers by bringing certainty and stability to the trade relationship between the United States and Colombia," Lester said.

Colombia already has duty-free access to the United States for most goods under unilateral U.S. trade preference programs, although those programs have been plagued with uncertainty caused by expirations and short-term extensions. When implemented on May 15, the Colombia FTA will provide certainty for U.S. importers and also eliminate most of the duties Colombia now imposes on American exports of agricultural and manufactured goods, RILA said.

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Esprit hires new CFO

BY Staff Writer

Hong Kong — Esprit Holdings Ltd. announced Tuesday that it has hired Thomas Tang, former CFO of blue chip property firm Sino Land Co. Ltd., as its new group CFO.

Tang, who has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, left Sino Land in late March.

Esprit is in the throes of a major restructuring after its previous CFO resigned. Tang begins his post in May.

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Lowe’s plans to raise nearly $2 billon from debt sale

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s has announced an agreement to sell $500 million of 1.625% notes due 2017, $750 million of 3.12% notes due 2022 and $750 million of 4.65% notes due 2042. Estimated net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $1.982 billion, after deducting offering expenses and underwriters’ discounts.

The net proceeds from the sale offering will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include repurchases of shares of common stock, capital expenditures, acquisitions and working capital needs, according to the retailer. Closing is expected to occur on April 23, 2012.

Wells Fargo Securities, Goldman, Sachs & Co., and US Bancorp Investments are acting as joint book-running managers for the notes offering.

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