AAFA Weekly Brief
October 11, 2016
October 7: Negotiators on the ambitious transatlantic trade treaty pledged Friday to push ahead despite rising anti-free trade sentiment and the rejection of new trade deals by US and European politicians. Ending their 15th round of negotiations in New York, US and European Union negotiators said they had made "significant progress" as the talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) hone in on some of the most difficult issues. (Source: Yahoo News)
October 7: Director-General Roberto Azevêdo delivered the keynote speech, entitled "Towards a More Inclusive Trading System", at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on 7 October. This is what he said. ... The argument I am going to make today has been made by many presidents and prime ministers over the years. But in the current climate it is beginning to seem radical. I am here to make the case for trade. And in doing so, I must say that I feel much better today than I did just a year ago. Back then it felt like a lonely position to take! But now I think the catchy and often ill-informed anti-trade arguments we are hearing have encouraged others to speak up. (Source: World Trade Organization)
October 4: The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its forecast for economic growth in the U.S. and other advanced economies while citing increasing risks from isolationist sentiment, but upgraded its outlook for emerging markets. As a result of the offsetting dynamics, the IMF left its global growth estimate unchanged from its July projection at 3.1% this year and 3.4% in 2017 and renewed its call for more forceful government action to fuel economic activity. (Source: USA Today)

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Supply Chain
October 10: As it enters [its] fourth year, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) will focus on critical safety repairs and establishment of worker safety committees. The Alliance has completed 55 percent of high-priority repairs and 63 percent of all required repairs in its affiliated RMG factories, the organisation said in its third Annual Report. The report, issued as part of the Alliance's ongoing commitment to enforcing a culture of safety in its Bangladesh garment factories, shows significant progress toward its goal of leaving the industry substantially safer as a result of the initiative. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
October 4: The container shipping industry is in a state of flux and nobody can say they know for certain what the landscape will look like in six months from now. Even before Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy protection the industry was preparing itself for big changes to the major shipping alliances, which from April next year are scheduled to downsize from four to three. But Hanjin’s demise and uncertainty surrounding new membership agreements and regulatory approval have clouded the picture, says a recent report from Drewry. (Source: Global Trade Magazine)
October edition: Like peeling an onion – with many layers that are seemingly endless – the duty of today’s supply chain executive requires meticulous diligence. And sometimes it makes you cry. For today’s footwear or apparel supply chain or compliance executive, the challenges can seem unfathomable. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript, column by AAFA's Nate Herman)  

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Brand Protection
October 10: Internet giant Alibaba is being rebuffed and embraced in the U.S. in two separate headlines, reflecting conflicting feelings many Americans have towards one of China’s largest private companies and their sometimes controversial business practices. In the more upbeat headline, Alibaba’s movie-making unit has just signed a major new tie-up with director Steven Spielberg to co-produce movies from his Amblin Entertainment and distribute them in China. But in a far less friendly overture, Alibaba is also being blasted by a major U.S. apparel group for lack of progress in its battle to stamp out trafficking in pirated goods in its online marketplaces. (Source: Forbes)
October 5: ... The use of design patent protection is certainly not a new tactic, as brands have been utilizing such protection for decades. However, it seems that many have begun to rely significantly on this form of protection, which extends to the "new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture," only in relatively recent years. (Source: The Fashion Law)

October 4: Australian researchers have examined the factors that lead consumers to knowingly buy fake goods online - a key driver of the counterfeit trade. ... The researchers - from Griffith University and Swinburne University of Technology - identify no fewer than nine external factors and seven internal factors that encourage counterfeit fashion item purchasing among younger people (Millennials). (Source: Securing Industry

Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
2016 Notorious Markets submission: On Friday, October 7, AAFA called on the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to re-list Alibaba as a Notorious Market. In its remarks to USTR, AAFA referenced the numerous counterfeits available on Alibaba’s platforms, and its inability to meet USTR’s recommendations when the company was originally delisted in 2012. A total of 118 online and physical marketplaces were included in AAFA’s remarks. More on AAFA’s submission is available via Global Times, Retail Dive, and Wall Street Journal.

Help AAFA and K.I.D.S/Fashion Delivers raise one million pairs! AAFA has partnered with K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers to supply one million pairs of socks to the nation’s homeless. Donations began on October 10, in honor of World Homeless Day, and will continue throughout the following 12 months. 

To date, the companies DSW Inc., GBG Socks, LLC/Planet Sox, Gold Medal International, No nonsense, Renfro Corporation, TTI Global Resources, and United Legwear & Apparel Co., among others, have combined to commit over 500,000 pairs of socks to people in need. Read more about the program via Footwear News, MR Magazine, and Women's Wear Daily.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to show their support on social media using #OneMillionPairs. More information is available at www.OneMillionPairs.org

Meet AAFA’s Legwear Committee: AAFA’s Legwear Committee addresses the needs of our legwear members through regular meetings and advocacy initiatives. Regulations and trends in trade, product safety, labeling, and other areas affecting socks and hosiery are identified and acted upon through AAFA-facilitated member participation. The committee’s Legwear Testing Task Group also works to develop tools and resources to be utilized by AAFA members. To join, contact membership@aafaglobal.org

Letters to debate moderators: In advance of the second Presidential debate, AAFA sent a letter to the moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, encouraging them to ask questions about UNICOR and the damaging impact prison factories have on USA manufacturing. AAFA will continue to provoke these questions in advance of the final debate, airing October 19.

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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AAFA Events
Oct. 20 Webinar: Third-Party Risk Management - An Effective Program to Protect Your Brand
Oct. 26 Hong Kong AmCham Address: Strategic Imperatives for 2016 and Beyond - Insights from AAFA 
Oct. 27 Hong Kong Executive Summit 2016
Which AAFA programs are earmarked in your ’17 marketing budget? 

Contact Megan Balkovic to discuss sponsorships.

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 
November 30, 2016 | New York, NY 

Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the U.S. footwear industry, will host its 77th annual VIP Dinner and Gala on November 30, 2016. The evening of philanthropy and entertainment will be held at the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City’s Manhattan Center. Click here for more information.



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