AAFA Weekly Brief
September 12, 2017
September issue: ... The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) advocates on behalf of its membership to develop trade policy that benefits not only apparel and footwear companies and their workers, but American consumers. This year, we have been representing our industry in Washington, D.C. on efforts to ensure meaningful, comprehensive tax reform; to safeguard the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as that trade deal is modernized; and to introduce a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) bill that will pave the way for duty reductions on footwear that are currently subject to heavy import taxes despite not being available in the U.S. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript, op-ed from AAFA's Paula Zusi)
September 12: United Nations sanctions on North Korea’s important textiles industry are expected to disrupt a business largely based in China and pose compliance headaches for clothing retailers around the world. (Source: Reuters)
September 11: The second in a series of expert panel discussions exploring the challenges and opportunities facing today's textile and apparel industry ... Host Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc, speaks with Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), and Jon Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation (NRF). (Source: just-style – article unlocked)
September 11: The Philippine government has requested the US for the inclusion of footwear products in its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme. ... The Philippine request followed after [Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez] met with the American Apparel and Footwear Association to push for the inclusion of footwear as among the eligible products under the US-GSP scheme. (Source: Manila Bulletin)
Supply Chain
September 12: Bangladesh's prime minister has urged Myanmar to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Rakhine state. Speaking as she visited a refugee camp, Sheikh Hasina urged Myanmar to view the situation with humanity, saying innocent people were suffering. Some 370,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border since violence began last month. (Source: BBC)
September 12: The non-profit H&M Foundation and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) together have found a groundbreaking solution to recycle blend textiles into new fabrics and yarns, without any quality loss, through a hydrothermal (chemical) process. The technology will be scaled up and made available to the global fashion industry. ... It is a major breakthrough in the journey towards a closed loop for textiles. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
September 11: The Senate took up the National Defense Authorization Act on Monday evening, passing a motion that lets the legislation proceed and consideration of several controversial amendments. (Source: CNBC)
September 11: Several Southeast seaports that shut down ahead of Hurricane Irma say they will be able to reopen in the next 48 hours, allowing badly needed shipments of fuel, food and other goods to make their way into the region. A half-dozen major ports, including facilities in Tampa, Miami and Savannah, suspended operations over the weekend. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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Brand Protection
September 11: Amazon is extending its anti-counterfeiting Transparency program to third-party retailers on its platform, according to three sources that sell as third-party sellers on the site. The program was launched in March as a test for Amazon’s own products and labels. It’s now open to everyone that sells products through Marketplace, Amazon’s third-party sales platform, and some speculate that it may end up being mandatory for retailers to sign on to. (Source: Digiday)
September 9: Counterfeiters see social media platforms as a "haven", the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has warned in its latest report. Released on Monday, September 4, the report was commissioned by the IPO to understand the extent to which counterfeiting is moving online and gauge how social media platforms have helped this. According to industry and government sources used for the report, social media plays a "significant and growing role" in the sale and distribution of fake goods. (Source: Trademarks & Brands Online)
September 5: ... Kevin’s entrée into the world of replica shoes was through the user-generated website Reddit, where collectors share photos of copycat shoes and contact information for sellers. They coach counterfeiters on how to get minute details correct like the proper length of a sock liner or the right amount of fuzz on a suede patch. With each batch of bootlegs, the replicas become increasingly difficult to distinguish from their authentic counterparts. ... The replicas Kevin wears are re-created expertly in China, marketed on social media, sold over reputable e-commerce sites and delivered discreetly by international couriers. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Hurricane disaster relief: With two major hurricanes in a short space of time, the apparel and footwear community is coming together in support of those affected. Companies and individuals interested in assisting are encouraged to submit donations via Delivering Good and/or Two Ten.

AAFA urges full funding for ILAB: On September 6, AAFA sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, supporting the full funding of the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), provided in the Subcommittee mark for the FY2018 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill. Full funding was approved on September 7.

Committee Spotlight – Social Responsibility Committee: The Social Responsibility Committee identifies and studies global social responsibility issues and trends that affect the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. AAFA disseminates that information to committee members who meet regularly to discuss these issues, develop and/or share best practices and, when necessary, develop the industry’s plan of action in response to specific issues.

AAFA members actively serve on 11 committees, subcommittees, councils, and working groups. Members have the opportunity to provide thought leadership, share best practices, and address challenges through active participation. Committees meet by conference call, in person 2-3 times a year, and send out regular updates on issues. To join a committee, please contact membership@aafaglobal.org.

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
September & October

September 20 Webinar: A Practical Guide to Chemical Management
September 26-27 AAFA Board of Directors Meeting
September 26 Webinar: What's in YOUR Brand?
October 4 AAFA Footwear Workshop: Trade, Trends, & Compliance
October 5 Webinar: Consumer-Centric Approach to Online Brand Protection
October 11 Webinar: Spotlight on CSR - Moving the Industry Forward
October 19 AAFA Product Safety and Compliance Conference
October 26 AAFA Executive Think Tank

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
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AAFA Executive Think Tank
October 26 | Hong Kong


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