AAFA Weekly Brief
August 1, 2017
Supply Chain
July 31: Bangladesh, the second largest garment producing country in the world, will digitally map its entire garment industry in the first such initiative to bring transparency in the supply chain in an effort to stop abuses. The mapping project will collect "credible, comprehensive and accurate data" on factories across Bangladesh and disclose it in a publicly available, online map, said a manufacturers association that launched the project on Saturday. (Source: The Globe and Mail)
July 25: California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a cap-and-trade program he hailed as central to achieving the state’s ambitious agenda on climate change. Considered a global model, California’s cap-and-trade program requires businesses here to obtain permits for greenhouse-gas emissions such as carbon dioxide. Scientists say such gases are a major contributor to climate change. Under the new law, the program will be extended through 2030. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
July 25: Amazon’s power is in the vast amount of goods and services it offers. To keep up with demand, it needs even more – and more prominent – products. So what is an e-commerce giant to do when faced with underserved markets or stubborn brands that refuse to work within the Amazon ecosystem? The answer, apparently, is devise a workaround. To boost its offerings, the Internet juggernaut recently contacted sellers that use its Fulfillment by Amazon service, alerting them that in some cases Amazon may want to purchase product from them that it will then resell. (Source: VAMP)
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July 31: President Donald Trump’s top advisers are huddling behind the scenes in a bid to craft a set of economic measures meant to punish China, two administration officials told POLITICO. ... They said there are a range of options on the table, including trade restrictions. Other possibilities include economic sanctions. But the officials said it's too early to say what the president might decide. (Source: Politico)
July 28: Whoever thought tax reform could be so difficult? ... Tax reform is very likely to happen in this calendar year. For sure, Congress does see low-hanging fruit and an opportunity for a big win on a very important issue. Whatever happens during the tax debate and whatever the outcome, Americans do agree that something needs to be done, and that we can no longer continue to listen to the sound of silence. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein)
July 27: Retailers the country over can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the border adjustment tax is officially, fully dead. The pronouncement came Thursday in a joint statement on tax reform issued by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and others. ... "The border adjustment tax was a bad idea looking for a place to happen," American Apparel & Footwear Association president and CEO Rick Helfenbein said. The AAFA had been fighting against the BAT for the time it was on the table. "Luckily it will not happen in the United States of America." (Source: Sourcing Journal – article unlocked)
July 26: The Trump administration is weighing whether to support online sales taxes that could give state governments greater flexibility in their budgets. Testifying before a Senate panel Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House "is looking very closely at this issue" and that it intends to "come out with a position shortly." (Source: Washington Post)
Brand Protection
August 1: The Cloud Sword Alliance, an intellectual-property task force set up by Alibaba Group and a number of provincial and municipality governments in China, met in Hangzhou on Tuesday to further their efforts to protect the brands selling on the technology giant’s e-commerce platforms. (Source: Alizila)
July 13: Sellers of counterfeits and imitation products on various online marketplaces are adopting brand-based keywords to avoid being caught by search filters implemented to identify and remove listings for fake goods. While the use of keywords is an extra hurdle that brand owners must overcome when enforcing against counterfeits, it also demonstrates the extra effort that sellers must now go to due to additional rights protection mechanisms being implemented by e-commerce platforms. (Source: World Trademark Review)

In Brief

Tax Reform Update: On July 27, key leadership in Congress and the Administration responsible for the top-level principles that will guide tax reform, released a statement announcing they will not include the border adjustment tax (BAT) in any tax plan moving forward. AAFA released a press release shortly after, applauding the decision to remove the BAT from consideration and emphasizing our support for permanent tax reform that simplifies the code, lowers burdens, supports U.S. jobs, grows the economy, and makes our nation more globally competitive.

AAFA supports proposed labeling change: AAFA sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 31, in support of the proposal to remove the requirement that owners of registered word trademarks provide the FTC with a copy of the mark's registration prior to using the mark on labels.

Comments on trade agreements: AAFA submitted comments to the Administration on July 31 regarding the operation and implementation of trade agreements and trade preference programs.

AAFA testifies at the CPSC’s Priorities and Budget Hearing: AAFA submitted comments in response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission request for input on its 2018/2019 budget and priorities. In testimony on July 26, AAFA asked the Commission to prioritize (1) reducing testing and regulatory burdens, (2) harmonizing the product safety approach between states and abroad, and (3) building collaboration between the industry and the Commission. A video of the hearing is available here.

AAFA staff update: AAFA is excited to welcome Christina Mitropoulos as a Government Relations Representative. Christina is a recent graduate from George Washington University Law School, as well as a former AAFA intern. In addition to other responsibilities, Christina will serve as the AAFA liaison for the Brand Protection Council.

Know a great intern candidate? AAFA is accepting applications for interns in both our Government Relations and Communications & Marketing departments for fall 2017. More information is available here.

See all of AAFA’s latest letters, comments, and testimony here.
Congress and government agencies solicit comments on a range of issues that may affect your business – find a list of comment opportunities here.

AAFA Events
August 9 AAFA Member-Only Webinar: Central America and the TFA
August 17 Webinar: Fighting Supply Chain Corruption
August 23 Webinar: Let's Talk Technology To Reduce Cost & Improve Speed

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.


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