AAFA Weekly Brief
November 29, 2016
November 28: Kenya plans to revive its cotton industry, a major foreign-exchange earner until the 1980s, amid strong demand for lint from domestic mills and the potential to supply manufacturers exporting clothing and textiles to the U.S. under a preferential trade deal. The government is planning training and credit facilities for farmers as part of a bid to restore production that peaked at 38,000 metric tons of seed cotton in 1984-85. ... The initiative comes as manufacturers in East Africa’s biggest economy are counting on apparel exports to the U.S. growing 5% this year after the U.S. extended its African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, by a decade. (Source: IndustryWeek)
November 28: Mexico's finance minister José Antonio Meade touted the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement during a trip to the United Kingdom, the Financial Times reported Monday. NAFTA is currently on the chopping block for either renegotiation or withdrawal during President-elect Donald Trump's first 100 days, Trump has said. ... The key to NAFTA's liberalizing effect on trade is that it eliminates a lot of the taxes on imports and exports between the three partner countries, which makes trading cheaper. Getting rid of the agreement, Meade argued, would be bad for everyone involved. (Source: Mic Network)
November 24: Fault lines inside the corporate world are emerging over a proposed rewrite of the U.S. tax code, pitting importers against exporters. At the heart of the fight is a Republican plan in Congress that would impose corporate taxes on imports while eliminating them from exports, a move that would upend decades of tax policy. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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Supply Chain
November 28: The shipping arm of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is looking to buy German peer Hamburg Süd, people with knowledge of the matter said, a deal that would help Maersk Line boost its presence in global trade with Latin America. Maersk Line, the world’s leading container-shipping operator, is interested in acquiring the entire Hamburg Süd business, which had $6.7 billion in revenue in 2015 ... (Source: Wall Street Journal)
November 26: The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme, a collaboration of 22 leading brands, 13 value chain affiliates and 7 associates, has released its Wastewater Guidelines, a unified expectation on wastewater quality for the entire textile and footwear industry. The Guidelines have been endorsed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). The Wastewater Guidelines built on a study conducted in 2015, which revealed that, despite efforts, there exists no unified set of expectations for suppliers that discharge industrial wastewater. This is of concern as the production of textile and footwear involves a large quantity of water and if not treated properly, presents a threat to people and the environment. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
November 22: A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday against an Obama administration regulation expanding by millions the number of workers who would be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay. The regulation was scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1. It would raise the salary limit below which workers automatically qualified for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660. The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that the Obama administration had exceeded its authority by raising the overtime salary limit so significantly. The ruling was hailed by business groups who argued the new rules would be costly and result in fewer hours for workers. (Source: New York Times)
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Brand Protection
November 22: ... Amazon is taking new steps to help sellers battle counterfeiters in its online marketplace, according to a news report. The e-commerce giant is testing a new set of digital tools called Brand Central to help merchants prevent other sellers from copying and selling their products, tech news site CNET reported on Tuesday. (Source: Fortune)
November 22: Branding is becoming an even more essential business tool, particularly as globalization brings bring fashion labels to markets that would have been previously unimaginable. ... Given the greater importance of branding, companies should be conscious of the issues concerning brand protection developing and creating new market strategies, so they can attempt to avoid potential issues and conflicts, which can be costly and time consuming. (Source: The Fashion Law)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief
State of the market – ApparelStats 2016 and ShoeStats 2016 Reports now postedAAFA has released its latest ApparelStats and ShoeStats reports for AAFA members. ApparelStats 2016 and ShoeStats 2016 provide snapshots of U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends for 2015. The reports are the most comprehensive and authoritative sources for U.S. apparel and footwear industry statistics for data through 2015. Comprised of data drawn from a variety of sources, the reports contain information on imports, retail sales, retail prices, consumption, employment, exports, and domestic production. To access these reports, click here (member login required). For questions, contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

Fighting fakes this week in San Francisco: AAFA is hosting two events focused on brand protection in San Francisco this week, including the Knock it Off! Brands & the Counterfeiting Quandary Workshop tomorrow and the Brand Protection Council Winter 2016 Meeting on Thursday. Many thanks to Levi Strauss & Co. for hosting both events!

This #GivingTuesday help raise one million pairs: Use hashtags #OneMillionPairs and #GivingTuesday to help spread the word about AAFA’s partnership with K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers to supply one million pairs of socks to the homeless and needy. Since October, the companies DSW Inc., GBG Socks, LLC/Planet Sox, Gold Medal International, Gymboree, High Point LLC, No nonsense, Renfro Corporation, TTI Global Resources, and United Legwear & Apparel Co., among others, have combined to commit more than 750,000 pairs of socks to people in need. Any company interested in donating new socks for this campaign may email Merrie Keller at merrie@donateproduct.com or call (212) 279-5325. More information is available at www.OneMillionPairs.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.

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AAFA Events
November and December
Nov. 30 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
Nov. 30 Knock it Off! Brands & the Counterfeiting Quandary Workshop
Dec. 1 Brand Protection Council Meeting
Dec. 6 Government Relations Committee Conference Call
Dec. 7 Webinar: CSR with WRAP - A New Approach to Working Hours
Dec. 12 Webinar: Supply Chain Slavery Threats and Trends
Dec. 13 Legwear Committee Conference Call
Dec. 15 Webinar: Counterfeits on the Rise - Challenges and Best Practices
Attend the industry's premier compliance regulation event! Join AAFA in Long Beach on Jan. 24.

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
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.
January 25-26, 2017 | Orlando, FL 
Each year, the PGA Merchandise Show gathers 40,000+ industry leaders representing 74 for its premier golf merchandise show. This year, complimentary education conference sessions will be held Jan. 25-26 and will cover numerous topics that will play a role in sourcing next year, including the recent U.S. presidential election, labor concerns, the activewear market, new sourcing strategies, and wearable technology. AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will present a special keynote, "Sourcing Merchandise in the New Political Environment." Learn more about the education sessions here. See recent coverage in Sourcing Journal for additional details.


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