AAFA Weekly Brief
June 6, 2017
June 1: ... With intense competition heating up around the world for cheap labor, Guatemala is not the least expensive place for hourly wages, but it is a member of the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement between the United States and six Central American countries. That means that clothing made from fabric and materials coming from the region gets duty-free entry into the United States, lopping off up to 32 percent in tariffs. (Source: California Apparel News)
June 1: ... Despite Mr. Trump’s incendiary talk, his top trade advisers are taking a more cautious approach to dealing with America’s trading partners, striking a more moderate tone than the president but still laying the groundwork for the changes he has promised. ... Signs of greater moderation were on display this week when Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, suggested that the administration would actually try to build off some aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, or T.P.P., that Mr. Trump abandoned in January as NAFTA renegotiations begin this summer. ... "The first guiding principle is do no harm," Mr. Ross said at a Bipartisan Policy Center forum on Wednesday. (Source: New York Times)
May 31: Beneath the "Buy American" roadside signs here, a globalist heart beats in this mostly rural corner of Northwest Georgia. ... While most of the flooring made here is sold domestically, for housing and commercial space, carpet can also end up installed in vehicles, ships and aircraft bound for export. The Dalton area also directly exports more carpeting than anywhere else in the United States, primarily to Canada and Mexico. There’s no doubt that global trade helps grease the wheels of the economy here. And therein lies the irony. (Source: Center for Public Integrity)
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Supply Chain
June 5: ... Retail is evolving yet again, and we are witnessing an adjustment from a period defined by real estate overbuilding, to a new era of "shared space" (with online) that combines the changing attitudes and habits of shoppers. Customer experience is simply happening at a much faster pace than physical real estate can accommodate. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein - article unlocked)
June 4: President Donald Trump will launch a new campaign this week aimed at fulfilling his pledge for $1 trillion of infrastructure investment, hoping to capitalize on lawmakers’ support for rebuilding the nation’s transportation systems at a time when his tax and health legislation are in flux. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
May 30: ... The industry used to think about a shopper as the ending. Today, a shopper is the beginning. The feedback loop that often took nine months to get a shopper's opinion on a design collapsed to weeks, if not days or minutes. It's as close to real time as it's ever been. Thriving in this world required two related changes: 1) brands have to move more quickly; and 2) be more decentralized than ever before. (Source: Loose Threads)
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Brand Protection
June 5: Logo-laden luxury goods are hardly the only types of apparel and accessories targeted by counterfeiters. In addition to fake Louis Vuitton bags and Gucci tees, another frequently copied category of items: Sports merchandise, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ("CBP") Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise has recently announced a significant number of interceptions of infringing products in light of the National Basketball Association’s finals. (Source: The Fashion Law)
June 1: Every day, black-market shoppers tap into an invisible network to illegally funnel luxury designer goods into the United States right under the noses of customs and border protection agents. All of the wares — Chloé ankle boots, Saint Laurent wallets, Chanel Le Boy bags — are undeniably, shamelessly fake. Does that stop the buyers? Not a chance. (Source: Racked)
June 1: ... On May 5th, authorities raided a facility in the city of Dongguan in Southern China that was churning out 600,000 cartons of fake beer every month. But it wasn’t until video footage of the processing line in action was leaked that people began to take notice. (Source: Industrial Equipment News)

In Brief

AAFA on BAT & NAFTA: Following the House Ways and Means Committee’s May 23rd public hearing regarding the pros and cons of a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), AAFA is continuing to follow developments closely and we are continuing to urge members to communicate their opposition to this flawed proposal. Please see this 1-pager to help communicate your concerns. You can also join more than 14,000 colleagues and send a letter to your legislator.

Last month, the Administration also gave notice to Congress of its intention to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). AAFA is currently soliciting input from members so we can share perspectives on behalf of the industry with the Administration as these talks kick off in August. For more information, contact Steve Lamar.


AAFA’s brand refresh is live! Have you noticed our fresh new look? Check out aafaglobal.org which has been re-invented to better meet the needs of AAFA members and to reflect our strategic initiatives across Brand Protection, Trade, and Supply Chain. For AAFA members ready to showcase member status on business materials, websites, and other collateral, download the new logo variations and usage guidelines here (member login required). Questions? Contact membership@aafaglobal.org. Sponsors that regularly use AAFA branding may contact Megan Balkovic for additional guidance.
This week in NYC: Yesterday, AAFA hosted its Legwear Committee Meeting at Gemini Shippers Group in NYC – thank you to Gemini for hosting! For more information on the Legwear Committee, or any of AAFA’s committees, visit our new website.

Today we are thrilled to kick off Supply Chain Week with our Product Safety Seminar: The Latest on Compliance and Beyond, focused on insights around regulation and policy to help the industry move beyond compliance. Tomorrow and Thursday we will host our Supply Chain Innovation: The Right Course – An AAFA Sourcing Conference, including a tour of Flex Ltd’s NYC facility. Both events take place at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). A warm thank you to FIT for graciously hosting! And many thanks to our sponsors, including OEKO-TEX® for tonight’s reception and Amber Road for tomorrow’s reception. 
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.


Member Welcome: Tailored Brands

Tailored Brands, Inc. is a leading authority on helping men dress for work, special occasions and everyday life. The company's brands include leading menswear retailers Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, and Moores Clothing for Men; designer brand Joseph Abboud, family retailer K&G Fashion Superstore; drycleaners MW Cleaners; and corporate apparel leaders Twin Hill, Dimensions, Alexandra, and Yaffy. 

AAFA Events
June 7-8 Supply Chain Innovation: The Right Course - An AAFA Sourcing Conference
June 15 Webinar: Harnessing the Simplified Duty Drawback Rules for Expanded Savings

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
July 19 | Chicago



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