AAFA Weekly Brief
August 30, 2016
August 29: German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel over the weekend alluded to the fact that the European Union and U.S. trade deal is on the rocks...The comments left some insiders scratching their heads and trade offices reassuring businesses negotiations are progressing. "TTIP is very much on the front burner," said Steve Lamar, EVP of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. "...They’ve done 14 rounds of negotiations already, and I think that it’ll go longer than thought. That’s no surprise, though, because TPP took 20 official rounds and 20 unofficial rounds of talks." (Source: Footwear News)
August 25: ...Even as President Obama gears up to win approval of TPP during a lame-duck session after the November elections, TPP member countries are looking at Plan B in case the deal fails. The TPP will live or die based on what happens in Washington, since U.S. participation is essential for the agreement to succeed. (Source: Bloomberg)
August 24: The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is set to announce it will open a new comment period and further review trade benefits for imported travel goods from several countries that were not included in a decision it made in late June. The expected move to review additional countries for duty-free benefits was immediately lauded by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which had joined with a coalition of other groups and companies to press the Obama administration to extend the duty benefits to more countries. (Source: Women’s Wear Daily – login required)

Do you have a solid supply chain strategy?
Milgram Freight Services
Importing to Canada? We’re Canadian and we know Canada and its customs! Milgram is a premium Canadian Customs Broker servicing the largest apparel companies for over 65 years. We are also experts in International Freight and Truck Transportation. Visit us online or call us for a consultation to learn more about what Milgram can for you.
Supply Chain
August 26: Ever since the African Growth and Opportunity Act secured duty-free benefits for goods made in Madagascar, the African island nation has been working to restore its position as an apparel manufacturer. Before a coup in the country led the U.S. to pull its duty-free benefits, Madagascar was exporting $300 million worth of textiles and apparel to the U.S. Though that number is a much lower $44.2 million in the first half of this year, according to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), growth over last year is 131 percent. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
August 25: China’s recent move to add the U.S. to a list of Zika-infected countries is worrying U.S. exporters, who fear they will be required to fumigate all containers destined for Chinese ports. ...Exporters who ship everything from agricultural products and chemicals to engine parts say they fear that conflicting information from Chinese custom officials about the new requirements could result in delays, added cost and lost business. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
August 29: Secretary of State John Kerry, in Dhaka on Monday, said more needs to be done to strengthen labor rights and empower workers in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Kerry, who met with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other top government officials on a one-day stop in Dhaka en route to India, also addressed security concerns stemming from two terrorist attacks in Bangladesh last month. (Source: Women's Wear Daily – login required)

Milgram Freight Services
Brand Protection
August 29: Some 40% or more of Amazon’s retail sales come from its Marketplace of third-party sellers. Such sales are lucrative — Amazon doesn’t have to own and (in many cases) fulfill the goods — but as they’ve grown, so have the risks to Amazon's systems and reputation. (Source: Retail Dive)
August 25: China's luxury consumers are moving beyond bricks and mortar and going online for their next python-skin handbag fix, and high-end fashion houses and retailers will have to follow them, analysts warn. ...Rather than relying on a physical store, luxury brands are realizing that they have to keep up with changing consumer tastes combined with macro-economic headwinds, such as rising property prices in parts of China and Hong Kong. (Source: CNBC)
August 25: A scandal involving the alleged sale of falsely labeled Egyptian cotton products by an Indian textile manufacturer to U.S. big box retailers highlights a stiff reality facing the high-end fiber market: there isn't much Egyptian cotton any more. The shortage of cotton from Egypt, which commands a premium due to its superior quality, creates an incentive to blend it with other types of cotton without disclosing it or to counterfeit the label altogether, cotton traders said, exacerbating a problem that has plagued the industry for years. (Source: Reuters)
Naylor Association Solutions
In Brief
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for travel goods: On August 24, AAFA praised the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for reopening the discussion on providing duty-free treatment to U.S. imports of travel goods (including luggage, handbags, backpacks, tote bags, etc.) under the GSP program. See the full press release 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.

Product safety updates:Did you know AAFA's Product Safety Council (PSC) provides updates on industry best practices and national and international regulatory compliance developments? PSC members develop industry tools that help apparel and footwear companies navigate current and future product safety regulations. Join the PSC and AAFA’s other committees here. Also, learn more about our International Product Safety and Compliance Conference coming up in Vietnam on November 15!

Quarterly Market Monitor Update: Members can now download the 1st and 2nd Quarter 2016 Market Monitor editions, with data by NPD Group. (AAFA member login required.)

AAFA staff updates and internship opportunities: AAFA is pleased to announce the promotion of Natalie LaBella to Director of Communications and Marketing! AAFA is also excited to announce our fall intern for communications, Ingrid DiClemente, who starts mid-September. Fall and spring internship opportunities are still available, learn more here. Meet our team here.

Quality & Compliance for Textiles, Apparel & Footwear
TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc.
TUV Rheinland is a leading provider of technical services worldwide. We can assist you with compliance to international regulations and industry standards. Our services include but are not limited to:
  • Safety, Performance and Quality Testing
  • Footwear, Leather, Accessories, Apparel, Textiles Expertise
  • Restricted Substances, ZDHC, DETOX, Green Testing Services
  • CSR, Health & Safety Audits
  • Quality Inspections
  • Contact us today

    Member Welcome: Bluewater Defense

    Bluewater Defense, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of uniforms and equipage for the United States Department of Defense. During the past 29 years, the company has focused on manufacturing labor intensive, sewn items, per military specifications — successfully completing 75 large contracts totaling more than $850 million in revenue. Today, Bluewater Defense is mass producing the Army Combat Uniform Trousers — this contract is one of the largest and most important in the industry. 

    Naylor Association Solutions
    Naylor Association Solutions
    AAFA Events
    Sept. 15 Webinar: The Icebreaker Business Case: How PLM Drives Change
    Sept. 22 Webinar: Ensuring Safety in Children's Apparel and Footwear 
    Look Ahead

    Visit our events calendar for all webinars and industry events. Be sure to save the date for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-3, 2017.

    Other Industry Events
    September 14, 2016 | San Francisco, CA
    AAFA’s Steve Lamar will be a keynote at the 10th MarkMonitor Brand Protection Forum, an event focused on helping brand owners keep up with the leading trends, strategies, and best practices in brand protection.
    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.


    Search Past Editions | Advertise

    We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
    Your email will be kept private and confidential.