AAFA Weekly Brief
October 23, 2018
Newsletter at-a-glance

Learn more about recent AAFA-led initiatives – including key meetings last week in Vietnam and Cambodia and this week in Hong Kong – under AAFA News. We encourage additional participants to join our newly launched Industry Commitment to Responsible Recruitment – it’s not too late!
Supply Chain
October 22: The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) are seeking to raise the bar on how workers in the industry are treated. On Monday, 123 apparel and footwear companies signed the new “AAFA/FLA Apparel & Footwear Industry Commitment to Responsible Recruitment,” emphasizing a commitment to the fair treatment of workers in the global apparel, footwear and travel goods supply chain. (Source: Sourcing Journal – article unlocked)
October 10: Nate Herman, Senior Vice President with the Supply Chain of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), joins host Ken Jaques and guest host Jeanne Cook for a discussion of Herman’s work on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Much of the conversation was spent dissecting various supply chain issues, including the importance of the safety of the product, timely delivery of the product, the workforce environment and quality, as well as traceability. (Source: Center for International Private Enterprise - CIPE)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
Customized Brokers, a Crowley Company
Customized Brokers, adds velocity and value to the apparel supply chain. As a single-source, total supply chain solutions provider, we have developed ways to more efficiently manage the complexities of importing both textiles and apparel. We have dependable, compliance-driven teams that keep abreast of regulations on this constantly evolving market.
To connect with one of our specialists, click here.
October 22: Head of the American Apparel and Footwear Association tells the Post that Washington and Beijing need to sit down and thrash out their grievances. … “If they start talking to each other sooner, everyone will be a winner,” Helfenbein said. “If not, everyone will be a loser.” (Source: South China Morning Post)
October 22: Rick Helfenbein, president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, an industry group that counts Gap and Macy’s among its members, talks about the trade spat between the U.S. and China. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat and Yvonne Man on "Bloomberg Markets: Asia." (Source: Bloomberg)
October 22: … A similar thought may be going through the minds of most sourcing executives when they pull the mask off the newly named United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to find that it is not much more than the kindly North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And this is a good thing. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
October 21: American and Chinese officials need more discussions to resolve the ongoing trade war, warns Rick Helfenbein of AAFA. (Source: CNBC Squawk Box)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Brand Protection
October 18: De Beers is putting diamonds on the blockchain. Walmart is putting lettuce on the blockchain. Startups are putting skin care and liquor and fancy watches on the blockchain. … A retailer, for instance, might want to record its end-to-end supply chain data on a blockchain in order to track inventory or combat counterfeits (more on both of these ideas later). For this to work, each entity — from factory to distributor to shipper to warehouse to store — would need to participate so that there are no gaps in the data. (Source: Vox Media)
October 17: … The formal notification, known as a letter of denunciation, to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) is being sent by the State Department in response to what the administration of President Donald Trump views as an unfair advantage primarily for China, but also for such other countries as France and Germany, in online commerce.  (Source: Voice of America)
Prioritizing Your Technology Road Map: When is the Right Time to Change?
Centric Software
Thinking of upgrading your current PLM system but questioning if it’s the right fit for your business anymore? If you’re experiencing business challenges that your PLM should have avoided like disjointed processes, data errors and a reliance on emails to collaborate, then it’s probably time to wave goodbye to your current PLM. Watch our webinar and learn about the benefits of changing your PLM system vs. upgrading your existing system.
Watch now

AAFA/FLA Apparel & Footwear Industry Commitment to Responsible Recruitment: On Monday, October 22, AAFA and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) announced a proactive industry effort to address potential forced labor risks for migrant workers in the global supply chain. We are proud to announce that 124 companies (and growing) have joined the effort. Access the commitment and list of participants and see our press announcement. For questions about the Commitment or how to join, contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

Last week in Vietnam: AAFA hosted a sold-out and extremely productive Product Safety & Compliance Conference last week in Ho Chi Minh City. We were thrilled to have speakers like Ivanka Mamic (our keynote speaker) who leads sustainability and responsible sourcing initiatives at Target and Timothy Liston, Deputy Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Vietnam. Topics ranged from global product safety requirements to evolving social responsibility and sustainability trends and today's global trading climate. Attendees walked away with new information and tools to create safer and more compliant workplaces. AAFA will host two additional product safety seminars in the year ahead, including February 7 in Long Beach, CA and June 6 in New York City. Mark your calendars!

Important meetings in Cambodia last week: On October 19, representatives from AAFA, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), and influential apparel and retail brands met with senior Cambodian government officials to discuss the current state of worker rights, and opportunities for enhanced collaboration in upholding worker rights throughout the Cambodian garment, footwear, and travel goods sector. The delegation included Michael Posner, chair of the FLA board; Steve Lamar, Executive Vice President of AAFA; and representatives from adidas, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Under Armour, and VF Corporation. The representatives met with H.E Ith Sam Heng, the Cambodian Minister of Labor and Vocational Training; H.E Pan Sorasak, the Minister of Commerce; and H.E Phan Phalla, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economy & Finance. To learn more, contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

Our busy week in Hong Kong! Members of the AAFA leadership team are spending this week in Hong Kong visiting with members, speaking with the media about U.S.-China trade relations, and hosting our 4th annual AAFA Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong — established to convene leaders in Hong Kong that are driving key transformations across our industry. Check out the agenda and speaker lineup at aafaglobal.org/HK18

AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein on CNBC Squawk Box in Asia on Monday. Watch here.

AAFA’s Rick Helfenbein discusses on Bloomberg earlier today. Watch here.

Upcoming member-only webinars: Join us for two upcoming member-only webinars, fast-approaching!

October 31: NAFTA to USMCA – A Deep Dive with AAFA
In this member-only webinar, AAFA’s trade experts will discuss what the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) means for your business and the industry at large. Register here!

November 8: Midterm Election Results & What's Ahead
Immediately following the 2018 midterm elections, AAFA leadership will take a first look at what those results mean for the country and for the policies affecting your business. Register today

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
October & November
October 24 Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong
October 31 Member-Only Webinar: NAFTA to USMCA - A Deep Dive with AAFA
November 1 Webinar: Taking Control of Your Global Supply Chain
November 8 Member-Only Webinar: Midterm Election Results & What's Ahead
November 13 Webinar: Less Becomes More. Responsible Textile Consumerism
November 14 Government Relations Committee Meeting
November 28 Environmental Committee Meeting
November 29 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Join us next Spring in D.C.
AAFA Executive Summit | March 13-15
Government Relations Committee Meeting | April 30
2019 Global Supply Chain and Trade Conference | April 30 - May 1


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