AAFA Weekly Brief
June 27, 2017
June 27: Over the past quarter century, the North American Free Trade Agreement has done much to transform the region’s economy, rewiring supply chains, shaking up labor markets, altering consumer choices and integrating border towns. The vast range of commerce touched by the pact will be evident this week, when the Trump administration holds marathon public hearings over plans to rewrite the deal with Mexico and Canada. Beginning with an 11-hour session slated to open at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office plans three days of hearings, churning through more than 130 witnesses. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
June 26: Mark Meadows, the chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus tells me there's "a growing acceptance among conservatives to expand the budget window to 20 years that would allow for more robust tax cuts." ... Why this matters: Though Paul Ryan still insists tax reform needs to be revenue neutral, his preferred method to pay for tax cuts is politically dead. The border adjustment tax — which would raise more than $1 trillion over ten years by raising taxes on imports — has no hope of passing the Senate or being signed by the President. (Source: Axios)
June 19: Sub-Saharan Africa has both been the land of sourcing opportunity and the land where trade was most likely to remain close to status quo amid other potential adjustments to U.S. agreements. Now, the U.S. may be set to take a closer look at the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which affords eligible African countries duty free sourcing to the U.S. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
June 23: ... Navigating a complex intercontinental network of rails across a grand total of 12,000 km, the ambitious route — less costly than air yet comparatively faster than sea — intends to usher in a new era of freight transportation from China to Europe. ... the Yiwu-London route is just one of many legs of a global initiative that will have a momentous impact on the garment and textile industries. (Source: Business of Fashion
June 20: Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng on [June 19] announced the start of the annual process for setting the monthly minimum wage for Cambodia’s garment sector, the country’s largest private-sector employer. According to a statement posted to the minister’s Facebook page, the process will start next month with the government, employers and unions each coming up with a proposed raise, then proceeding to negotiations and—if necessary—ending in October when the tripartite Labor Advisory Committee takes a vote for the winning wage, which will take effect on January 1. (Source: The Cambodia Daily
June 20: ... We are competing with our federal government to secure production orders while trying to advance the interests of private domestic contractors. With prison wages as low as 23 cents an hour, it’s no wonder that FPI (also known as UNICOR) senses an opportunity for growth. ... Perhaps this same U.S. government that tells us to do more manufacturing in the U.S.A. is oblivious that while their right hand giveth, their left hand taketh away. (Source: Law 360, op-ed from AAFA’s Rick Helfenbein - login required)
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Brand Protection
June 23: Hong Kong, Albania and Panama are among several key transit points for counterfeits entering Africa, the EU and the US, according to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). ...China is the biggest producer of counterfeit goods, producing the most counterfeit goods in nine out of 10 key economic sectors. Other important producers include several Asian economies, India, Thailand, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Vietnam. (Source: IP Pro the Internet
June 13: US Customs and Border Protection has launched an educational campaign to raise awareness of the dangers and negative impact of fake goods. ...The campaign aims to specifically emphasize the negative impact of the illicit trade on the loss of American jobs and its effect on national security through the trade's support of criminal activity. (Source: Securing Industry)

In Brief

AAFA Chairman and Treasurer in Washington: Last week, AAFA Chairman Paula Zusi, Global Operations Advisor - Retail Supply Chain at Advent International Corporation, and Treasurer Gary Simmons, President and CEO of Gerber Childrenswear, came to D.C. to engage with legislators on key issues impacting the industry, including the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

AAFA Treasurer Gary Simmons, Chairman Paula Zusi, and President and CEO Rick Helfenbein AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein,
Chairman Paula Zusi, and
Treasurer Gary Simmons, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

NAFTA hearings kickoff in D.C.
AAFA provided oral testimony to the Office of the United States Trade Representative today, June 27, to provide insight on the importance of the trilateral agreement for the apparel and footwear industry. Key arguments emphasized 1) Doing no harm; 2) Implementing changes seamlessly; 3) Keeping the agreement trilateral; and 4) Using negotiations to fix other problems. Public hearings will continue on June 28 and 29. AAFA's written comments are available here.

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: Asia Socks
Asia Socks headquartered in Shanghai is the largest sock manufacture & exporter in China. They produce socks for men, women and kids. 
AAFA Events
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
July 20 Webinar: Chinese Standards for Textile, Apparel & Footwear
July 26 Webinar: Licensing - Protecting Your Brand's Reputation
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
AAFA heads back to Hong Kong on October 26 for our Executive Think Tank!


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