AAFA Weekly Brief
August 16, 2016
August 11: ...Trump’s business past cuts against some of the themes of the populist presidential campaign he has run. Trump has called for protectionist trade policies and criticized businesses that moved manufacturing outside of the United States. He’s blamed sleazy politicians, uncaring business leaders and bad trade deals for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and promised to bring them back through sheer willpower. (Source: TIME)
August 11: Support for one of the largest trade deals in a generation is growing as more people learn about it, according to a poll released Thursday. A Morning Consult poll shows more people supporting the Obama-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, although a majority of voters still say they have heard little or nothing about the agreement. (Source: The Hill)
August 12: The Obama administration took a procedural step on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal Friday, sending a draft statement of administrative action to Congress that lays out the changes needed to U.S. law under the trade deal. ... Stephen Lamar, executive vice president at the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said: "It is a strong indication the administration is serious about taking up TPP this year and about presenting an implementing bill [to] Congress. It doesn’t guarantee it will happen because there still needs to be a lot of work done by the Congressional leadership to pave the way for a vote." (Source: WWD – login required)
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Supply Chain
August 11: Modern slavery is rampant in more than half of the world, and garment exporting nations are rated among the highest for risk. According to a new global ranking released Thursday by risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft, modern slavery — defined as slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labor — is a "high" or "extreme" risk in 115 of the 198 countries in the index. And of those, Asian and African nations pose the greatest threat to companies navigating new rules on supply chain disclosure. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
August 11: CNBC’s most recent "America’s Top States for Business" survey shows that California, well, isn’t. California’s steadily growing thicket of mandates and taxes have inadvertently turned it into one of the least business-friendly states in the union. (Source: Orange County Register
August 10: Americans dispose of about 12.8m tons of textiles annually. But a growing number of environmentalists and clothing retailers say it’s time to begin making new clothes out of old items on a large scale... (Source: The Guardian)
August 12: More than 110 US-based industry groups are again urging West Coast port stakeholders to start negotiations on a new labour contract for dockworkers in order to avoid the disruption seen last year. The groups, which include the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA), are calling on the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to begin early discussions on either a contract extension or a new contract to "ensure stability and predictability" at West Coast ports. (Source: just-style – login required)

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Brand Protection
August 16: Luxury brands are getting more aggressive about taking suspected counterfeiters to court. After years of debate in the luxury industry about how to publicly tackle counterfeit goods, a growing number of high-end names from Gucci to Moncler and Alexander Wang are suing sellers of fakes, both in China and the West. The legal action comes as brands grapple with an explosion of fake goods on e-commerce and social-media platforms. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
August 11: ...In a letter addressed to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 46 global business groups spanning finance, information technology, insurance, and manufacturing urged Beijing to revise its draft cyber rules which they said would hamper trade. (Source: Fortune)
August 10: It’s not often that one of China’s most powerful businessmen finds himself publicly warned by a government official. But that’s exactly what happened when China’s head of industry took Alibaba Group Holding Chairman Jack Ma to task for not cracking down on pirating on the country’s biggest e-commerce platform. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
In Brief
Government contracts updateOn August 10, AAFA called on the 2016 presidential nominees to commit to end the U.S. government's reliance on uniforms made in U.S. prison factories and requested responses by August 31. See the full press release here. Stories were published in Apparel Magazine, Politico, and WWD.

Additionally, on August 10, AAFA’s Stephen Lamar emphasized the industry’s support for the Berry Amendment in relation to U.S.-made athletic shoes. Speaking with Community Newspapers Holding, Inc., which publishes 68 daily newspapers in 23 states, Lamar highlighted the widespread support for domestic products, saying "there’s a lot of frustration in Congress that the military is dragging their feet on this." Read the full story here.
WTO trade facilitation agreementsOn August 11, AAFA joined a coalition of about 30 other trade associations in urging ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), negotiated through the World Trade Organization (WTO). AAFA sent a letter to non-Free Trade Agreement partners (such as Angola) and a letter to Free Trade Agreement partners (such as Chile) to encourage ratification. When implemented, the TFA will expand merchandise exports by more than $1 trillion and create 20 million trade-based jobs. For additional updates like this, join AAFA’s Customs Update mailing list by emailing nherman@aafaglobal.org.

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.

Making the most of membership: Did you know AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee keeps members apprised of developments that bear on the needs and requirements of the U.S. military and other parts of the U.S. government with respect to the procurement of clothing and shoes? AAFA members get the most out of membership when they participate in our events and committees – join committees here

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    August & September
    August 18 Webinar: Customs Updates and International Threats
    August 25 Webinar: TSCA Reform and its Impact on the Apparel and Footwear Industry (for AAFA members only)
    Sept. 15 Webinar: The Icebreaker Business Case: How PLM Drives Change
    Sept. 22 Webinar: Ensuring Safety in Children's Apparel and Footwear 
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    Other Industry Events

    Sourcing Journal Summit 
    September 20, 2016 | New York, NY
    AAFA’s Steve Lamar will take the stage with fellow supply chain executives and top thought leaders at the 2016 Sourcing Journal Summit, designed to bring today's sourcing issues to life.


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