AAFA Weekly Brief
July 18, 2017
July 18: The Trump administration released its road map for remaking the North American Free Trade Agreement that aims to preserve "Buy America" provisions and reduce the U.S. trade deficit, but steps back from some of President Donald Trump’s most fiery campaign rhetoric on trade with Mexico and Canada. ... The plan also backs an unspecified mechanism to prevent countries from manipulating their currencies for trade advantage, an issue of increasing concern among lawmakers and some economists, though one less central to U.S. trade ties with Mexico and Canada. It also includes provisions meant to challenge Mexico on labor and environmental issues. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
July 17: As it gears up to renegotiate aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement in mid-August, Mexico wants the pact’s tariff preference levels, which enable the sourcing of key raw materials for apparel to be exported, to remain in place. ... Canada has also asked that the provisions — which allow apparel manufacturers to import raw materials from non-NAFTA members — to remain in the treaty since eliminating them would dent its exports. (Source: Women’s Wear Daily - login required)
July 12: The United States notified South Korea on Wednesday it plans to start negotiating amendments to a five-year-old free trade agreement with Seoul and called a meeting to kick off the talks for next month. The announcement came months after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would either renegotiate or terminate what he called a "horrible" trade deal. (Source: Reuters)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
July 17: ... The Trump administration is seeking to nearly gut funding for a Labor Department bureau that monitors the treatment of foreign workers, a program that U.S. businesses and labor groups alike say helps American workers compete fairly in the global economy. ... Without the bureau’s efforts to improve workers’ rights oversees, "you’re saying, basically, that it’s okay for forced labor and child labor to run rampant, which undercuts our own labor force," said Nate Herman, a senior vice president for the American Apparel and Footwear Association. (Source: Washington Post)
July 17: For the back-to-school season, many parents and their kids are thinking green. Concerns about the environment have them looking for secondhand clothing or fashions made from reused material — but price still rules. Shoppers want quality and style in backpacks, jeans and the like without spending a lot more money. (Source: Associated Press)
July 9: The Pentagon is taking initial steps to more closely enforce so-called "Buy American" laws, elevating a series of Depression-era statutes that require manufacturers to rely on U.S. materials when they make guns, equipment, uniforms and food for the nation’s military. ...The two laws in question are the 1933 Buy American Act, which requires the Pentagon to purchase domestically-produced products for purchases over a $3,500 threshold, and the more-restrictive 1941 Berry Amendment, which applies mainly to clothing and food products purchased by the military. (Source: Washington Post)
July 9: COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd has offered to buy Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) for HK$49.23 billion ($6.30 billion), in a deal that will see the mainland China group become the world's third largest container liner. The proposed deal is the latest in wave of mergers and acquisitions in global container shipping that has left the top six shipping lines controlling 63 percent of the market. (Source: Reuters)
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Brand Protection
July 10: ... Marcus Engman, the head of design at Ikea, thinks there are important lessons to be learned from the process of music sampling as far as design — in fashion and interiors — is concerned. "This is our main inspiration for working creatively," he says. "You make something new out of something from the past, and to me, that’s not copying." ... But how far is too far? Right now, it’s hard for any person without a law degree to understand what constitutes copyright infringement and what doesn’t, at least when we’re talking about clothing. (Source: Vogue)

In Brief

NAFTA Update: On Monday afternoon, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a "Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation." AAFA was pleased to see many of the concerns we shared on behalf of the apparel and footwear industry appear in this document of priorities for the modernization of the agreement, especially the emphasis on a seamless transition, intellectual property protection, and the streamlining of commerce between the three nations. Additional details on the objectives and next steps will be sent to AAFA members later this week.


AAFA in Chicago: AAFA is in Chicago this week for our Environmental Committee and Social Responsibility Committee meetings, as well as our Traceability Seminar. Keep up with these and other opportunities on our Events Page.

Fall internships with AAFA: Know a great intern candidate? AAFA is accepting applications for interns in both our Government Relations and Communications & Marketing departments for fall 2017. More information is available here
ICYMI AAFA on Fox Business: AAFA's President and CEO Rick Helfenbein joined Liz Claman on Fox Business last week to discuss Amazon Prime Day and the state of retail. The full interview is available here.
Comments regarding BAT: AAFA submitted comments on the House-proposed Border Adjustment Tax to the Senate Finance Committee in conjunction with the Committee's review of tax reform.

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: Nexgen Packaging

Nexgen Packaging provides a simple process for their customers to design, sample, and track the development and execution of their packaging programs globally. They realize the importance of not having to be concerned about the quality of the product, the environment in which it is produced, or the consistency of your brand..."peace of mind" is what they are about. They offer creative services, excellent communication, innovative reporting and a full range of environmentally sound packaging solutions.
AAFA Events
July & August
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
August 9 AAFA Member-Only Webinar: Central America and the TFA
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Just Announced! AAFA Footwear Workshop
October 4 | Lawrence, MA



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