AAFA Weekly Brief
July 25, 2017
July 20: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that tax reform talks are nearing a consensus to lower business taxes by closing loopholes and special interest deductions, the latest sign that the unpopular proposed border tax may not be included. Speaking at a New Balance shoe factory in Massachusetts, Ryan stressed the need to "level the playing field" for U.S. companies and their foreign competitors but failed to mention the border adjustment tax, or BAT, which has been his main policy for creating a more competitive U.S. manufacturing base. (Source: Reuters
July 19: In apparel sourcing, one region’s trashed trade deal is another region’s treasure. For Central America, the U.S. pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would have seen trade ease between America and 11 Pacific Rim nations, has meant more opportunity – and opportunity at a time brands and retailers are increasingly looking for closer-to-home sourcing options. (Source: Sourcing Journal – article unlocked)
July 18: The fiery rhetoric and brash style that drove Donald Trump into the presidency has translated into a much more pragmatic policy reality at least when it comes to much of the regulatory nuance that matters to fashion. ... Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the AAFA, noted: "There has been a lot of rhetoric about what NAFTA meant for the American economy and the American people. What’s coming out now is a much more pragmatic approach to how this NAFTA modernization exercise should be taken." (Source: WWD – login required)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
July 23: ... In its detailed labor section, the objectives call for the elimination of compulsory labor and a requirement that NAFTA countries respect minimum wages, hours of work and occupational safety and health. FPI falls woefully short in these areas, especially considering that all inmates are "required" to work. ... What most folks don't realize, is that the single biggest obstacle to creating more domestic manufacturing jobs is the unfair competition coming from U.S. prison factories. If we can ensure that these NAFTA objectives apply to the U.S. prisons too, we can put a lot of Americans back to work. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA’s Steve Lamar
July 21: ... A recent study showed that 70% of the retail value of most imported garments can be attributed to US sources. Yet those garments each carry labels highlighting the offshore manufacturing operations. Federal regulations tell us this requirement is written so as not to deceive the consumer. But if the value of the backpack in question is overwhelmingly US ... isn’t the real deception to tell the US consumer that the good is not American-made? (Source: just-style, letter from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
July 21: ... Across the US, Mexico, and Canada, the data we analyzed show that building more factories doesn’t lead to as many jobs as it used to, nor to higher wages, and that closing factories doesn’t necessarily lead to a loss of prosperity. (Source: Quartz
July 21: ... In survey after survey, Americans claim that they care whether their shoes, toasters or cellphones are American made. Their actual spending habits, however, tell a different story. American shoppers want a good deal. And when they shop, everything other than price tends to be a distant second on the list of priorities. (Source: Washington Post
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Brand Protection
July 20: The American and European authorities said on Thursday that they had shut down two of the largest online black markets, AlphaBay and Hansa Market, and arrested their operators. (Source: New York Times)
July 20: Chinese President Xi Jinping made rare public comments about the country’s IP reform efforts on Monday. Addressing the National Financial Work Conference, Xi called for strengthened intellectual property rights protection and more stringent punishment for infringement. ... This appears to be the first time that Xi has publicly commented so extensively on IP matters, and what he said represents an extremely direct and firm message from the very top of China’s leadership. (Source: iam)
July 18: U.S. President Donald Trump is looking for ways to defend American-made products by certifying legitimate U.S. goods and aggressively going after imported products unfairly sporting the "Made in America" label, the White House said on Tuesday. Trump, who campaigned on reviving the U.S. manufacturing sector, vowed on Monday that his administration would crack down on "predatory online sales of foreign goods" hurting U.S. retailers. (Source: Reuters)

In Brief

AAFA releases sustainability benchmarking report: AAFA is pleased to share our first-ever Environmental Sustainability Benchmarking Survey Report (member login required). The 2017 report is meant to provide AAFA member companies with a barometer of how their environmental sustainability programs compare to the rest of the apparel and footwear industry. For questions, contact AAFA's Kristen Kern

State of the market - 2017 Legwear Import Statistics released: AAFA has released 2017 Legwear Import Statistics (member login required) to provide insight into industry market trends for imported socks and hosiery in 2017. For questions, contact AAFA’s Steve Lamar.

Thank you to AAFA's summer interns! This week marks the end of AAFA's communications summer internship. Thank you to Elizabeth Galanti and Julie Watterson for their excellent work and assistance throughout the past few months. Fall internships are now posted.

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.

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AAFA Events
July & August
July 26 Webinar: Licensing - Protecting Your Brand's Reputation
August 9 AAFA Member-Only Webinar: Central America and the TFA
August 17 Webinar: Fighting Supply Chain Corruption
August 23 Webinar: Let's Talk Technology To Reduce Cost & Improve Speed

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
October 19 | Ho Chi Minh City



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