AAFA Weekly Brief
October 24, 2017
October 23: U.S. President Donald Trump will urge President Xi Jinping to make good on his commitments to pressure North Korea when he visits China next month, a senior White House official said on Monday, stepping up a strategy to have Beijing help rein in Pyongyang. ... Trump will call on Xi to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions against Pyongyang and take other steps to pressure North Korea. China, North Korea's sole major ally, accounts for more than 90 per cent of trade with the isolated country. China has said it will strictly enforce UN Security Council sanctions banning imports of coal, textiles and seafood, while cutting off oil shipments to the North. (Source: The Globe and Mail)
October 22: Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO, American Apparel & Footwear Association, says a wide range of industrial groups are worried about trade flows if NAFTA talks end in November without a deal. (Source: CNBC Asia, Squawk Box)
October 18: Driven by the Trump administration’s hard line stance on global trade, the U.S. is set to lose its position and credibility on the world commercial stage. Whether it’s the potential of killing trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Korea-U.S. FTA, or "the mistake" of pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, expert panelists at the Sourcing Journal Summit [last week] said the U.S. is taking a back seat to countries like China and hurting U.S. industry in the long run. Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said, "The administration is focusing on trade deficits and trying to promote manufacturing in the United States, but I would say the focus really tends to ignore all of the jobs that are created by the global value chains that exist throughout the United States and in our industry, as well." (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked) 
Supply Chain
October 24: The Trump administration has threatened to slap sanctions on Myanmar unless it ends a deadly campaign against its Muslim Rohingya minority that the United Nations has called "textbook genocide." The State Department said Monday that it is looking into targeted sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, a law that allows the U.S. to freeze assets and impose visa bans on selected individuals. (Source: NPR)
October 18: The AAFA has also expressed concerns aspects of the minimum wage law would limit wage discussion and make it more difficult to resolve disputes in a trusted way. It applauded the move this week by the Ministry as "a good step towards our mutual goal" of creating a more open and transparent process to protect and respect worker rights in Cambodia. "Thanks to your government's strong leadership and foresight, you have transformed what was a mere US$27m garment industry in 1995 into a $6.3bn industry employing over 650,000 workers today," AAFA president and CEO Rick Helfenbein said in a letter to the Prime Minister. ...The US association also wants the government to "quickly and fully" implement the new wage commitments, and to further strengthen the Arbitration Council by moving towards making all of its decisions binding, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Council through contributions from all stakeholders. (Source: just-style – article unlocked)
October 17: Chinese exporters at the country's biggest trade fair are more optimistic about global demand now than six months ago but Beijing's crackdown on pollution is ramping up costs and product prices, hurting smaller factories and foreign buyers. ... Price rallies across the commodities complex have accelerated in recent months as the government has ramped up environmental inspections and factories prepare for the most stringent ever smog-busting measures across the north this winter. Some 28 cities have been ordered to slash output of heavy industry from aluminum and steel to cement for four months from Nov. 15. (Source: TODAY - Singapore)
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October 22: ... Instagram is cracking down on fake accounts, purging millions of spam and bot accounts and using proactive tools such as spam detectors and blocking systems. But by cloning and replicating content, fresh accounts pop up every day. This proliferation of content keeps moderators busy in a cat-and-mouse chase. Meanwhile, the responsibility of tackling new social media fraudsters largely rests on law enforcement agencies, brands and innovative technologies. A digital ecosystem to target counterfeit sellers is in early stages ... (Source: Entrepreneur.com)
October 20: An international trade body says a new report on job losses due to counterfeiting is ‘extremely disturbing’ and urges a ‘redoubling’ of global authentication strategies. The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) was commenting on a report [Illicit Trade: Fueling Terror Financing and Organised Crime] which predicted that global job losses due to counterfeit and piracy will exceed five million by 2022 (5.4m) - an increase of 110 per cent when compared to 2013 figures (upwards of 2.6m). In addition, it is estimated that the total economic and social costs globally due to counterfeiting and piracy worldwide, which stood at $737-$898bn in 2013, is expected to rise to $1.54-$1.87trn by 2022. (Source: Securing Industry) 
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Ongoing NAFTA negotiations: As the fourth round of negotiations to modernize NAFTA wrapped up in Virginia last week, AAFA has continued to express strong opposition to provisions that introduce uncertainty into the agreement (e.g., five-year sunset clause) or that impose costs and burdens that would undermine the U.S. jobs supported by NAFTA compliant supply chains. The next round of negotiations has been delayed to November 17 in Mexico. We encourage members to communicate support for a modernized NAFTA that functions for our industry. Simply click here to send an email letter to the President and Congress to show your support. Questions? Contact Steve Lamar and Nate Herman.

USGVC Coalition launch: AAFA is a founding member of the new U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition (USGVC), launched last week to educate policymakers and the public about the millions of American jobs and national economic growth our members generate through their value chains. AAFA members Gap Inc., Intradeco, Levi Strauss & Co., Macys Inc., Precision Custom Coatings, SanMar Corporation, Target Corp, and VF Corporation are all founding Coalition members. Visit www.usglobalvaluechain.com to learn more and to download a full copy of the research report showcasing how millions of American jobs rely on the U.S. global value chain and contribute to the American economy. Contact Steve Lamar for questions about joining this effort.

Last week in Vietnam & upcoming supply chain events: On October 19, AAFA hosted our annual, international Product Safety and Compliance Conference in Vietnam. Thank you to all of the sponsors who helped us bring the industry together in Ho Chi Minh City around these pressing topics! AAFA will host two product safety seminars in the U.S. in 2018, as well as a Sourcing Conference (in Washington, D.C. in April) and Traceability Seminar (in Seattle in August). For more on AAFA’s supply chain programs in 2018, visit www.aafaglobal.org/events.

AAFA's busy week in Hong Kong! Members of AAFA’s leadership team, including President and CEO Rick Helfenbein, are in Hong Kong this week meeting with AAFA members and partners. Today, AAFA launched a new agreement with the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) which represents more than 2,000 members in manufacturing, services, and other industries based in Hong Kong. On Monday, AAFA’s Rick Helfenbein delivered remarks to the HK Chamber of Textiles and also appeared on CNBC Asia, Squawk Box with Bernie Lo to discuss trade policy matters including NAFTA – watch this brief segment of the interview.

On Thursday, our Executive Think Tank will bring together more than 130 executives including leaders from JD.com, Li & Fung, PVH, Shoes of Prey, ShopShops, Stitchfix, and Target to discuss the most important topics impacting the industry today.

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
October & November

October 25 Webinar: Sustainability - What Do Consumers Really Think?
October 26 AAFA Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong
November 9
Webinar: Regulatory Compliance Across the Product Life Cycle
November 14 Government Relations Committee Meeting
November 14 Webinar: Preparing for Higg 3.0-What You Need To Know & Do
November 29 Environmental Committee Meeting
November 30 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
Reserve your seat for April 16th!

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.


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