AAFA Weekly Brief
January 17, 2017
January 16: President-elect Donald Trump criticized a cornerstone of House Republicans’ corporate-tax plan, which they had pitched as an alternative to his proposed import tariffs, creating another point of contention between the incoming president and congressional allies. The measure, known as border adjustment, would tax imports and exempt exports as part of a broader plan to encourage companies to locate jobs and production in the U.S. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
January 15: The United States is one of the world’s largest apparel markets, but 97 percent of the garments sold here are made elsewhere. So it will come as no surprise if fashion is the first industry to be affected when President-elect Donald Trump launches his trade strategy after taking office on Friday. ... Corporations are currently taxed upwards of 35 percent on worldwide revenues. The border tax would lower the rate and create a taxation on U.S. operations and consumption. Simply stated, when a product is imported, it would be taxed, and when exported, it would be exempt. ... "This could be devastating for the apparel and footwear industry," said Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "This increased tax burden would translate into higher shoe and clothing prices for American consumers and fewer jobs for American workers." (Source: LA Daily News)
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Supply Chain
January 12: Duplicity is a difficult word. It carries a negative undertone, and essentially refers to an entity that says one thing and actually does another. The motive for duplicity could be intentional or, perhaps, simply unforeseen. For those of us who live in the world of fashion and who tirelessly promote the Made in USA concept, the reason we need to revisit the word "duplicity" is simply because we are forced to question the rationale behind the U.S. government's decision to increase purchases of apparel from U.S. federal prisons when the same product can be obtained from private domestic contractors. While the federal intent may be noble (trying to keep prisoners busy, preventing recidivism), the actual result is catastrophic for the commercial "Made in USA" movement. (Source: The Hill, op-ed by AAFA's Rick Helfenbein)
January 9: The election of a new president who has vowed to roll back regulations in many areas — coupled with the majorities in the House and Senate — has many in the apparel, retail and footwear businesses wondering what chemical regulation will look like in the new administration. The industry — which is a top user of regulated chemicals throughout the manufacturing process — thought they knew last summer, when President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, an update to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ... Now, it's difficult to guess whether the Lautenberg Act will be repealed or changed in the wake of Donald Trump's ascent to the presidency. ... We caught up with the American Apparel and Footwear Association recently, and had the following discussion on the future of the Lautenberg Act. (Source: Apparel Magazine)
January 13: The world is quick to harp on either how much or how little progress Bangladesh has made in improving the conditions of its ready-made garment sector, but regardless of which side you’re on, few understand the real costs for compliance there. Hoping to lend some clarity to the compliance issue, four Bangladeshi economists researched and published a cost benefit analysis of RMG [ready-made garments] compliance to increasing presence of ready-made garments and a new specialized RMG industry zone. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
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Brand Protection
January 16: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Monday that it would work with brands including Louis Vuitton and Samsung to crack down on counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platforms. China's largest internet retailer will form an alliance with 20 brands, trade associations, intellectual property experts and regulators, the company said. The parties will share with Alibaba their expertise on intellectual-property authentication and anticounterfeiting data. In return, Alibaba will provide alliance members with data and technical support in cracking down on fake items, and help them block, screen and remove counterfeit listings, the company said. The alliance will have the support of Chinese authorities, Alibaba added. (Source: MarketWatch)
January 13: In light of the rising luxury resale market and consumers’ lack of confidence in buying second hand luxury goods online (due to the saturation of the market with counterfeit goods), eBay Inc. will begin authenticating luxury handbags, footwear and other commonly counterfeited luxury goods this year as a means of distinguishing itself from similarly situated online marketplaces. The American multinational e-commerce company has said that it will use a network of brand experts to verify the authenticity of goods being offered for sale on its site and that sellers will be able to "pay for the authentication service to win the confidence of shoppers, or shoppers can pay for the service with eBay’s pledge that the sale will be nullified if the item is fake." (Source: The Fashion Law)
January 13: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized a record number of shipments containing goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in FY2016. The number of IPR seizures increased 9 percent in FY2016 to more than 31,560. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to more than $1.38 billion. As a result of enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations arrested 451 individuals, obtained 304 indictments, and received 272 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in FY2016. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release)

In Brief
New member-only guidance available: AAFA is pleased to announce our newest resource, the Joint Disclosure Guide: Meeting the UK Modern Slavery & California Transparency Laws (an AAFA Member Compliance Publication). The guide is meant to help companies publish a single disclosure to comply with both the requirements of the United Kingdom (UK) Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. Find the guide here (login required).

Labeling Q&A: In case you missed it, AAFA has developed The International Apparel & Footwear Labeling Matrix (login required) to provide AAFA members with an overview of the mandatory labeling requirements for adult apparel and footwear in 37 countries. This resource is a direct response to input from AAFA members who have expanded or are seeking to expand their business internationally and may need additional help navigating international labeling requirements. For further questions about labeling, contact Danielle Iverson.

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.

AAFA staff updates: AAFA is excited to announce the newest addition to the Government Relations department, Kristen Kern. Kristen is a former AAFA intern who now joins us full time as Government Relations Representative. AAFA is also pleased to announce the promotion of Reem Kuhail to Program Manager/Governance Liaison! Meet our team here.

Additionally, AAFA is pleased to welcome three Government Relations team interns for the winter season: Christina Mitropoulos from George Washington University, Jonathan Pederson from American University, and Grace Reynolds from UCLA!

Know a great intern candidate? AAFA is accepting applications for interns in both our Government Relations and Communications & Marketing departments for summer 2017. More information is available here.



Member Welcome: Discount Dance Supply

Discount Dance Supply is the leading dancewear catalog and online retailer in the U.S. offering the largest inventory, most extensive selection of name brand products, and an absolute commitment to the customers’ complete satisfaction. Discount Dance Supply markets to individuals in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, modern, ballroom, team dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and liturgical. We enjoy working with today’s brightest dance stars as models for our catalog and website featuring greats from companies like American Ballet Theater, The Rock School, and New York City Ballet. 

Naylor Association Solutions
AAFA Events
January & February

Jan. 24 What’s on Your Customers’ Shelf? The Latest on Compliance and Restricted Chemicals
Feb. 8 Environmental Committee Meeting
Feb. 9 Social Responsibility Meeting
Feb. 15 Webinar: Best Practices from Vans: Proactively Combatting Counterfeits
Feb. 23 Webinar: The Data You Need to Evaluate Your 2016 Holiday Sales
Feb. 28 Executive Committee & Board of Directors Meeting
Be sure to register today for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-3 in Washington, D.C. Rooms at The Watergate Hotel are filling up!
Meet the keynotes for the 2017 AAFA Executive Summit!

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events. 
Other Industry Events
January 25-26, 2017 | Orlando, FL
Don’t miss AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein’s keynote address in Orlando. The presentation will cover topics including the recent U.S. presidential election, labor concerns, the activewear market, new sourcing strategies, and wearable technology. More information is available here.


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