AAFA Weekly Brief
August 8, 2017
August 7: ... President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has sparked a frenzy of dealmaking across the Asia-Pacific region. The 11 other countries that participated in the TPP are involved in 27 separate trade negotiations with each other and with other major trading powers in the region like China and massive blocs like the EU. ... Seven of the deals have been concluded or launched in the five months since the United States withdrew from the TPP. (Source: Politico)
August 5: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has asked a group of industry advisers to provide feedback by mid-August on modifications the U.S. could seek to its free trade agreement with Korea. Sources told Inside U.S. Trade that USTR recently asked its industry trade advisory committees for ideas on the implementation of the agreement and issues "impacting fair trade" with Korea. (Source: Inside U.S. Trade – article unlocked)
August 1: ... Will the U.S. withdraw from NAFTA? Should you move your operations out of Mexico? These are two of the most-asked questions these days. The short answer is that nobody – even people who say they do – knows for sure. The longer answer is complicated. It is probably "no" in both cases, but like all things these days, the answer takes longer than 140 characters to explain. (Source: PPAI Media, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
August 7: As Amazon.com Inc. tightens its grip on retail sales, a growing number of brands are pushing back by championing local retailers. Some manufacturers are enforcing minimum advertised prices to make it harder for online sellers to undercut local merchants, while others give local stores first dibs on new products or funnel customers from their own websites to local outlets. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
August 7: Dockworkers on the West Coast approved a contract extension on Friday, two years before it was set to expire. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a statement that 67% of its 20,000 members at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington voted in favor of extending the contract with the Pacific Maritime Assn. to July 1, 2022. The previous agreement was set to expire July 1, 2019. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
August 4: Bankrupt fashion labels are finding that there is life after liquidation—but only if resurrection happens quickly. Investors snapped up Wet Seal, American Apparel and The Limited, betting fickle consumers who long ago stopped visiting their shops would flock to new online-only storefronts. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
August 3: A substantial majority of Bangladesh’s apparel exporters are opposed to two Western buyer platforms – Accord on Fire and Building Safety (Accord) and Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) – due to stringent imposition of factory safety-related conditions by these retailer groups and extension of activities in the country without government approval. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
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Brand Protection
August 7: President Donald Trump plans to wait at least a week and possibly longer on moving forward with a trade investigation of China on intellectual property violations after the country backed UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea, an administration official said. Trump and his advisers remain concerned over what the U.S. perceives as Chinese violations of intellectual property and the plan for a trade investigation is still under consideration, the official said. (Source: Bloomberg)
August 3: Alibaba has been battling the perception that it is a marketplace for fakes for years. On Thursday, it made some headway, resolving a dispute with the luxury goods giant Kering. The companies said they had resolved their differences, and Kering, which owns brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent, said it would withdraw a 2015 lawsuit charging that counterfeit goods had been sold from the Chinese e-commerce giant’s website. They said in a statement that they would establish a task force to share information and work with law enforcement to protect Kering’s brands. (Source: New York Times)
August 1: Much ado has been made of the new Trump brand trademarks that have recently been approved in China and elsewhere. Some have mused that these intellectual property protections represent special treatment by foreign governments or a conflict of interest. Indeed, some have argued that protection of the Trump brands represents a violation of the emoluments clause in the Constitution, which prevents the President from receiving foreign gifts. While these allegations sell headlines and excite constitutional scholars and political pundits, there is a much simpler narrative that is being ignored. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
In Brief

Check out AAFA's Tools & Research: AAFA provides a wide-range of tools and research materials for members, including the popular Restricted Substances List (RSL) and annual apparel and footwear statistics. Check out these and other materials on the Tools & Research section of the AAFA website. 

AAFA August webinars: During the coming weeks, AAFA will host several informational webinars highlighting different parts of the supply chain, beginning August 9 with a close look at Central America and the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (member-only). This will be followed up by open industry webinars on fighting supply chain corruption, improving speed with technology, and discussing color as it relates to sourcing. Past webinars are available via the AAFA Learning Center.

Thank you to AAFA's summer interns! AAFA would like to thank Lily Austin and Brenna McKee for their excellent work as Government Relations interns this summer.

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.

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
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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