AAFA Weekly Brief
June 13, 2017
June 8: The House Ways and Means Committee recently held a long-anticipated hearing that focused on the proposed border adjustment tax (BAT). The controversial proposal to remake the corporate income tax has divided prominent economists, tax experts, and industry groups between those who think the change is benign and those who see it as a harmful disruption. (Source: The Heritage Foundation)
June 7: To die or not to die seems to be the question looming around the border adjustment tax, as those on the Hill bump heads and battle over what to do with tax reform. So far, the much maligned BAT tax isn’t quite off the table yet. That was the message delivered Wednesday at the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s Supply Chain Innovation sourcing conference in New York City. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
June 12: ... As sales and traffic continue to migrate online, companies that furnish the goods that fill the shelves and racks of America’s department stores and other retailers have been striving to adjust to the changing scene. ... It all amounts to what [Rick] Helfenbein [of the American Apparel & Footwear Association] calls a "seismic" reshaping of retail. (Source: Journal Sentinel)
June 8: ... It takes big sneaker companies dozens of steps and up to 18 months to develop a new shoe, and with just a few exceptions, the manufacturing processes involved haven’t changed significantly in decades. Technology and automation are already beginning to upend that model, according to Morgan Stanley. In a June 6 research note for investors, the bank’s analysts took a deep dive into the way the world’s big sneaker players ... are reimagining the way they make and distribute products. Their conclusion is that a "tectonic shift" in the industry is in the works, and it will ultimately have wide-ranging benefits for shoppers and brands alike. (Source: Quartz)
June 7: To make its Kennedy Weekender overnight bag, the accessories and leather goods company Oliver Cabell spends $16.02 on canvas, $11.58 on leather, $5.68 on lining and 78 cents on webbing. The zipper costs the manufacturer $4.27. ... while most retailers keep such details opaque so that consumers won’t know how big a markup they are charging, Oliver Cabell flaunts the cost breakdown of all its products on its website ... This practice, known as transparent pricing, has been gaining hold among a select group of retailers, who say that it appeals in particular to millennials — who often want to know not only the provenance of the goods they are buying, but also what, exactly, they are paying for. (Source: New York Times)
June 7: Before he took office, Donald Trump promised to roll back the reach of the federal government, saying that he would end the "regulation industry" on the first day of his presidency. The effect has been immediate and dramatic: According to data compiled by POLITICO, significant federal regulation since Trump's inauguration has slowed to an almost total halt. ... The near-total freeze in regulations is likely to keep GOP supporters happy, converting on a long-held conservative dream of a government that stays out of the way. ... But rulemaking is the key way a White House shapes policy, and for an administration that has struggled to populate federal agencies and get laws passed through Congress, the rulemaking gap denies the administration its biggest chance to make an impact on how America runs. (Source: Politico)
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Brand Protection
June 10: When Kylie Jenner announced the launch of her new clothing collection on Instagram this week, some people thought the designs looked familiar. In fact, Tizita Balemlay, creative designer of New York-based brand Plugged NYC, alleges that the clothes are a direct copy of her work. ... Social media helps consumers stay informed about the inspiration for the clothes that they buy, and make choices — financial or ethical — based on that knowledge. "Most of the time, however, indie designers have little legal protection and instead have to appeal to social norms against copying," said Fordham University law professor and fashion legal expert Susan Scafidi. (Source: MarketWatch)
June 7: The Commerce Department has tapped Joseph Matal, an associate solicitor at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to succeed Michelle Lee as interim director of the intellectual property agency, according to the USPTO. Matal's appointment comes one day after Lee abruptly resigned from her position. (Source: Washington Post)

In Brief

Last week in NYC: AAFA hosted several supply chain events last week in NYC, kicking off with the Legwear Committee Meeting at Gemini Shippers Group on June 5, followed by our Product Safety Seminar: The Latest on Compliance and Beyond on June 6 and Supply Chain Innovation: The Right Course – An AAFA Sourcing Conference June 7-8 at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Recaps from the events, including the shipping panel, the present state of supply chains, the future of retail, and more are available via Sourcing Journal.

AAFA submits comments on NAFTA: AAFA submitted comments on behalf of AAFA members to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on June 12 in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The comments emphasize the need to 1) do no harm to the complex supply chains and hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on the agreement; 2) implement any changes in a seamless manner; 3) keep the agreement trilateral; and 4) take this opportunity to fix any problems in the agreement. These comments were sent in response to a Federal Register Notice released on May 23. The public hearing will be held on June 27. For more information, contact Steve Lamar.
Comments regarding Federal Prison Industries reform: On June 12, AAFA submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) outlining a series of reforms to Federal Prison Industries (FPI) to avoid the current adverse impact on U.S. manufacturing.

Letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen: On June 7, AAFA sent a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen expressing concerns with two proposed laws being considered by the Cambodian government regarding the minimum wage and arbitration of worker-employer disputes.

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: Stateside Merchants, LLC
Stateside Merchants LLC is a basic and beyond lifestyle brand company. We specialize in the basics: socks, undies, tees for the whole family but our design is anything but. Our brand portfolio includes Pair of Thieves and All Can Do. We add "sneaky performance" in everything we do to improve everyday comfort and wearability ... don't call us athleisure.
AAFA Events
June & July
June 15 Webinar: Harnessing the Simplified Duty Drawback Rules for Expanded Savings
July 11 Brand Protection Council Meeting
July 12 Government Relations Committee Meeting
July 18 Environmental Committee Meeting
July 19 Trust, Verify, Repeat: A Traceability Seminar
July 20 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.


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