AAFA Weekly Brief
September 6, 2016
September 6: ...The average American family planned to spend $674 on clothing, footwear, backpacks and other back-to-school supplies as they outfitted their children in kindergarten through 12th grade for the start of the 2016-2017 school year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey. What many don't appreciate is that there is a hefty hidden tax parents will pay as well. (Source: The Hill, joint op-ed by seven industry associations including AAFA)
September 5: President Barack Obama looked to reassure Asian nations that the U.S. commitment to the region would endure as concerns grow over China’s increasingly visible presence and the ability of Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. U.S. interests in the region were "not a passing fad," Obama said Tuesday during a speech in Laos, pledging that "in good times and bad, you count on the United States." (Source: Bloomberg)
September 3: The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the U.S. and the European Union is facing real issues and it is going to take time, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) told CNBC on Saturday. The deal would loosen the regulatory barriers to trade between the world's two largest trading blocs. U.S. President Barack Obama is in favor of the project, but U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been critical of multilateral trade deals that he says may harm U.S. workers and industries. (Source: CNBC)
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Supply Chain
September 6: South Korea's government has said it might provide Hanjin with loans to keep the bankrupt shipping giant afloat. Officials said Seoul could give 100bn won ($91m; £68m) or more in long-term funding at low interest rates if Hanjin provided the necessary collateral. ...The immediate problem, though, is the company's ships out at sea because ports say they won't accept them without being sure that port-fees will be paid. (Source: BBC News)

September 5: ...Truth be told, there is a real threat to our U.S. apparel manufacturing base, and the nature of that threat will surprise you. As the "Made in USA" rhetoric plays out on national TV, those of us who fight the daily battle for domestic apparel manufacturing have routinely encountered unfairness that remains hidden from most Americans. This behemoth will destroy your job, close your factory and — hard to believe — is actually controlled by our own government! (Source: The Hill, op-ed by AAFA’s Rick Helfenbein)
September 2: ...Western priorities in Uzbekistan since the Soviet Union’s collapse have focused on two main concerns: security and trade, particularly in gas, cotton and gold. Democracy comes a distant third. This approach, sensibly pragmatic or hypocritically cynical, depending on your point of view, also applies to the other autocratic central Asian states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. (Source: The Guardian)
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Brand Protection
September 2: Despite e-commerce giant Alibaba's promise to crackdown on counterfeits, trade groups are still saying the company isn't doing enough to monitor and pull fake goods from its e-commerce platforms. ...In a statement e-mailed to China Daily, Alibaba Group said that it welcomed the letter. ...The American Apparel & Footwear Association, though not a signatory on the August letter, told China Daily that it, too, has communicated with Alibaba several times to address the issue of not having clearer take-down procedures and that the site is still flooded with counterfeits. (Source: China Daily)

September 2: Ever since the summer of 2015 when the possibility of a vote on the Innovation Act was killed in the House of Representatives, patent reform has remained firmly on the back burner in the U.S. Congress. There has been some discussion around the prospects of venue reform with one bill introduced in the Senate aimed at stopping the kind of forum shopping which means that the vast majority of patent cases are heard in Eastern Texas, but that hasn’t gone anywhere as yet. And with the election just around the corner, most don’t expect anything to happen before the next Congress gathers early next year. (Source: IAM)
August 29: Amazon.com is taking steps to protect big brands after a recent surge in counterfeiting, and many rule-abiding sellers are paying the price. Online stores that want to sell brands like Nike, Adidas and Hasbro are being told they have to pay a one-time nonrefundable fee of up to $1,500 per brand, according to interviews with multiple sellers. ...The process, which started rolling out selectively last week, is called "brand gating," and it amounts to a big toll for sellers. (Source: CNBC)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
In Brief
Hanjin Shipping update: Since Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy on August 31, AAFA has been closely tracking the situation and its impact on members. To provide AAFA members with the latest developments, AAFA will host a call today at 4 PM ET with Ken O'Brien from Gemini Shippers Group. Click here to register for the call.

AAFA’s transportation group might be for you: AAFA members can email Nate Herman at nherman@aafaglobal.org to join the transportation group and receive future detailed updates on Hanjin and related matters. AAFA's transportation mailing list was established to provide interested members with regular updates describing the actions of AAFA on transportation issues, as well as breaking news reports whenever necessary. The transportation mailing list follows issues such as ports, shipping, and logistics.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) statement: On September 2, AAFA joined several associations in a letter supporting the renewal of AGOA benefits for all countries currently eligible for benefits. The letter reflects the support for ongoing partnerships to enhance and expand development in the AGOA region. See the letter 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.
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    Naylor Association Solutions
    AAFA Events
    September & October
    Sept. 15 Webinar: The Icebreaker Business Case: How PLM Drives Change
    Sept. 22 Webinar: Ensuring Safety in Children's Apparel and Footwear 
    Oct. 5 Webinar: Key Ingredients for a Seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience
    Oct. 6 AAFA Footwear Workshop
    Join us for the 2016 Hong Kong Executive Summit  Oct. 27! 

    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.


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