AAFA Weekly Brief
October 3, 2017
October 3: Once the "NAFTA problem" is solved, the U.S. can shift its attention to updating free trade agreements with countries in the Latin American region if certain conditions are addressed, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday. Pointing to U.S. agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama and Chile, as well as the Central America Free Trade Agreement, Lighthizer – in Florida for Gov. Rick Scott's (R) Latin American summit – said all "need to be modernized, more or less." (Source: Inside U.S. Trade - article unlocked)
October 2: Tax reform and health care will dominate the legislative action on Capitol Hill this week ... Both chambers are working to pass budget resolutions that will lay the groundwork to pass tax reform in the Senate with just 51 votes. The House should pass its version of the bill by Thursday while the Senate budget committee plans to markup its version Wednesday and Thursday. Action on the tax bill itself is still weeks, if not months, away although negotiations over the provisions and details will pick up. (Source: CNN)
September 27: Retail and fashion groups are throwing their full support behind a Republican proposal for tax reform that would see corporations paying one of the lowest income tax rates in history ... Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said a lower corporate tax rate coupled with being "allowed" to repatriate overseas profits will spur more investments in supply chain, product innovation and increase employee wages. "We look forward to taking a closer look at the details of the plan and working with Congress and the administration to share insights from the industry and seek swift approval this year," Lamar added. (Source: Women's Wear Daily - login required
Supply Chain
October 2: Even though a growing number of international brands may have made the switch from regular cotton to sustainable cotton, overall ‘big brand’ progress still falls short according to the annual Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2017. Published annually by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK, Solidaridad and WWF, the report assesses brands' progress on achieving their targets to help transform the cotton sector. (Source: Fashion United)
October 2: Union negotiators on the minimum wage for garment, textile and footwear workers have lowered their claim from $176.26 per month to $175, while the employers have increased their offer from $161 to $161.50. The tripartite working group of the government’s Labour Advisory Committee continued negotiations on Friday at the Labour Ministry but has not yet agreed on a figure. (Source: Khmer Times - Cambodia)
September 26: ... On social media, shoppers in small towns from Idaho to South Carolina complain about steep surcharges on incoming UPS and FedEx shipments, and gripe that Amazon Prime's free shipping often takes longer than the promised two days. As seamless as the process can sometimes seem — three clicks and (ta-da!) your order is here — e-commerce presents a different set of challenges depending on where you live ... (Source: Racked)
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Brand Protection
September 27: Leading officials of International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) applauded China's increasingly important role in international police cooperation in interviews ahead of the 86th Interpol General Assembly here on Sept. 26-29. ... [INTERPOL Executive Director Police Services Tim Morris] noted that China has made great contributions to the identification of global criminals and prevention of crimes by providing large amounts of information to the Interpol database through China's Public Security Ministry. (Source: Xinhua)
September 26: UK police say that people buying fake goods online risk having their identities stolen and used to set up fraudulent websites. The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has started a public awareness campaign – There’s more at stake when it’s a fake – to highlight the problem. It notes that out of 28,000 websites taken down for selling counterfeits since PIPCU started operations in 2014, 4,000 were set up using stolen identities. (Source: Securing Industry)
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

NAFTA update: AAFA’s Nate Herman (SVP of Supply Chain) made the case in Ottawa last week – in front of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican negotiators; Congressional staff; and other key stakeholders – to, at a minimum, "do no harm" during round three of negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

According to press reports, we have a tough road ahead to maintain and improve current NAFTA benefits as we enter the fourth round of negotiations, taking place October 11-15 in Arlington, VA. Nate and Steve Lamar (AAFA’s Executive Vice President) will be at the negotiations to represent the apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries. Members are encouraged to share any thoughts or concerns regarding the negotiations with Nate Herman.

Tax policy update: The Trump administration and GOP leaders released their plan for comprehensive tax reform on September 27, including changes to both the individual and corporate tax code. AAFA will provide members with a comprehensive update later this week. For breaking updates, consider joining one of AAFA's committees. Also see AAFA's CEO Rick Helfenbein discuss this topic with CNBC.

AAFA on brand protection: AAFA submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on September 28, as part of the Section 301 investigation on China. Additionally, AAFA submitted comments to USTR as part of its annual Notorious Markets report.

Comments to the CPSC: On October 2, AAFA submitted comments to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposing steps to help reduce regulatory burden without harming consumers. AAFA also joined with 65 other trade associations on September 26, urging the confirmation of Ann Marie Buerkle as permanent Chairman of the CPSC. Learn more in our news room.

This week at New Balance: Based on fantastic member feedback, AAFA brought its Footwear Workshop back to Lawrence, MA – taking place this week at New Balance. To inquire about last minute openings, contact events@aafaglobal.org.

Thank you to Under Armour! Many thanks again to Under Armour for hosting AAFA’s Fall 2017 Executive Committee and Board of Directors Meetings last week in Baltimore! We thank Colin Browne, Pete Gilmore, and their Under Armour teammates for helping bring together a great program. And we thank Kevin Plank, who reminded us about the importance of telling a great story, building a great team, and above all - making a great product.

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: Transparency-One

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AAFA Events

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 25 Webinar: Sustainability - What Do Consumers Really Think?
October 26 AAFA Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
Don't miss this speaker lineup!
Three weeks to our Executive Think Tank
in Hong Kong



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