AAFA Weekly Brief
July 5, 2017
June 29: Fulfilling the demands of travel goods importers and sellers – as well as members of Congress from both sides of the aisle – President Trump on June 29 granted full duty-free benefits to all Generalized System of Preferences countries for certain travel goods. ... "Today, the industry pays in excess of $90 million a year on duties, which can now be re-purposed towards well-paying jobs for U.S. workers, lower costs for U.S. consumers, and/or increased investments in product innovation. Additionally, this move will encourage diversification of the supply chain into developing economies, including the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka," Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association said. (Source: Inside U.S. Trade – article unlocked)
June 27: ... Regardless of whether the tax ends up with a "B" or a "V" as its first letter, companies will start finding the loopholes they need in order to survive, and those loopholes could effectively send them running for the same borders Trump wants to keep them within. ... For companies that decide to pick up and head abroad, leaving no taxable presence in the U.S., and manufacturing overseas and selling via e-commerce, they wouldn’t be filing U.S. tax returns, which makes it challenging to see how they could be subject to a BAT on their taxable income. (Source: Sourcing Journal article unlocked)
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Supply Chain
July 3: Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk said it had restored its major applications, as it brings its IT systems back online after being hit by a major cyber attack last week. ... Maersk's port operator APM Terminals said on Sunday all terminals had resumed operations and said it would continue to increase productivity and available services. (Source: Reuters)
June 29: Leading global fashion brands and trade unions agreed Thursday to continue a safety program involving thousands of garment factories in Bangladesh for another three years. ... The new agreement extends building safety inspections for all covered factories, ensuring that safety improvements achieved under the first accord will be maintained and any new problems will be addressed ... (Source: ABC News)
June 25: Wrap has launched a sustainable clothing guide - a practical guide to help brands and retailers to enhance the durability and quality of the clothing they produce. The Sustainable Clothing Guide shares simple steps on how to design, produce, and sell sustainable clothing that lasts longer, and that can easily be repaired and re-used. ... Extending the life of clothes by nine months of active use would reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by 4-10 percent. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
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Brand Protection
June 29: ... The case has created three years of headaches and tabloid headlines for Manning and the Giants while drawing attention to the unregulated, billion-dollar industry of game-worn collectibles, a marketplace rife with fraud in which aspects buyers generally don’t look for in expensive clothing purchases — mud smears, bloodstains, the stench of sweat — can drive prices into the tens of thousands. (Source: Washington Post)
June 29: ... The bill’s purpose is "to strengthen the position of the United States as the world’s leading innovator by amending title 35, United States Code, to protect the property rights of the inventors that grow the country’s economy." ... The major bulk of the bill consists of amendments to both inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings at the PTAB. (Source: IP Watchdog)

In Brief

AAFA applauds GSP announcement: On June 29, President Trump extended duty-free treatment to imports of all statutorily-eligible travel goods (including luggage, handbags, backpacks, tote bags, etc.) from all eligible countries under the Generalized System of Preferences. The change went into effect on July 1. 

AAFA led a coalition of more than two dozen organizations advocating before Congress and the Administration to provide travel goods with duty-free treatment. AAFA’s full statement is available here.
State of the industry – ApparelStats 2017 and ShoeStats 2017 now available: AAFA has released its latest ApparelStats and ShoeStats for AAFA members. Providing a snapshot of U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends for 2016, the reports are the most comprehensive and authoritative sources for industry statistics. Reports are a member-only resource. For questions, contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

Joint association letter on review of AGOA benefits: AAFA sent a joint-association letter on June 30 to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) asking that the out of cycle review of AGOA benefits for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, not lead to the suspension of termination of benefits. 

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 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.
Join us in Ho Chi Minh City on October 19 for AAFA's Product Safety and Compliance Conference


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