AAFA Weekly Brief
December 19, 2017
December 19: The US may be about to set off an international tax war, as it moves to slash the corporate rate and overhaul the treatment of multinational firms. The changes are aimed at making the US a more attractive place to do business, while reducing loopholes firms use to shield profits overseas. But some of the new items - including a perk for exporters - may breach international rules and treaties. (Source: BBC)
December 18: The battle over NAFTA and other trade issues comes down to two distinct visions of the economy. One is a faded photograph of the world as it once was, in which every product seemed to be made top-to-bottom in a distinct place. The other vision is a video of the global economy as it is today, in which every product is sourced in a wide range of places, with components tied together via cross-border supply chains. ... A recent poster of a pair of jeans prepared by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) illustrates the point. With side notes pointing out the over 25 U.S. states where various pieces of the jeans are made, it asks: "How American are your Mexican-made jeans?" The answer is: Very.
(Source: RealClearMarkets)
December 15: While NAFTA renegotiations and adjacent bilateral trade disputes have dominated the current discourse on trade policy, the future of the less-discussed Generalized System of Preferences looks as though it will provide both an important and comprehensive look into government’s trade priorities. Congress must now decide whether it will act to preserve these tariff reductions, which have long contributed to American prosperity. (Source: Washington Examiner)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
December 18: The garment industry is facing a number of challenging issues from renewing the East Coast ports’ labor contract to e-commerce. Foremost is the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) among 26 trade associations of shippers, consignees and drayage providers petitioning the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to clarify by policy statement the detention and demurrage charges at congested ports in the United States. New sourcing channels from Ethiopia are also presenting opportunities to garment logistics. (Source: American Journal of Transportation)
December 15: As incoming Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell works through his holiday shopping list, he might consider the nearly 50 percent discount he could get buying Calvin Klein underwear online instead of at the local mall. In the litany of reasons that explains why U.S. consumer price inflation has stalled, the drop in clothing prices last month, which was the largest in 20 years, takes its place alongside cheap cellphone contracts, one-off declines in drug prices and cheap gasoline, among others. ... Meanwhile, consumers are becoming more adept with the tools at hand. Anyone looking for underwear in a brick-and-mortar store can quickly compare prices on a phone. Technology is "allowing shoppers to push retailers towards a very competitive environment," said Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. (Source: Reuters)
December 14: Retailers are offering ballistic apparel to wary US citizens, and it’s not cheap. ... In the United States, body armor manufacturing is a $465 million-a-year industry, according to an August report from Market Research. And the global market for such wares is expected to be worth $5.7 billion by 2024, according to a 2016 study by Grandview Research. (Source: Racked)
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Brand Protection
December 19: Facebook, Inc. removed nearly 3 million posts, including videos, ads and other forms of content, from its sites during the first half of 2017 in response to takedown complaints over counterfeiting, and trademark and copyright infringement. The San Francisco-based social media giant, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced the intellectual property-related takedown data by way of its "Transparency Report." ... The report comes on the heels of widespread attention to the growing number of counterfeit-centric posts on Facebook, Inc.’s platforms. Cyber-security experts Andrea Stroppa and Agostino Specchiarello found that about a quarter of the fashion and luxury ads they examined on Facebook in 2014 were for counterfeit goods. (Source: The Fashion Law)
December 15: Last week, I [Kasie Brill, Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Brand Council] joined agents with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection as they intercepted a plane that had just touched down in New Orleans. The plane was carrying boxes of dangerous counterfeit products including electronics, shoes, apparel, cosmetics and toys headed for store shelves and, ultimately, under holiday trees. Thankfully, in this case, the Grinch got caught. (Source: The Advocate)
December 15: The US Patent and Trademark Office is set to release a new "user friendly" electronic filing system for patent applications in 2018. Commissioner for patents Drew Hirshfeld announced the office’s plans to launch a beta version of the "Patent Center" in early 2018, in a blog post published yesterday, December 14. The system is expected to replace the USPTO’s patent filing and information retrieval systems in 2019. (Source: World Intellectual Property Review)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions

In Brief

Updated member offer for Pantone LLC products: As part of Pantone LLC’s affiliate membership with AAFA, we are happy to announce that AAFA Members will continue to receive 15% off products purchased on www.pantone.com in the new year! Members can login to access the updated AAFA promo code. 

Support wild fire disaster relief: Fires in California have had a devastating impact on local communities. Two Ten is providing emergency financial assistance, referral services, and counseling to footwear employees and their families that have been affected. To assist with relief efforts, contact Two Ten.

Join us in Washington in the new year! "In just a few weeks, it will be time to Reboot, Reimagine, and Reinvent various aspects of our business. That is at the heart of the 2018 AAFA Executive Summit in Washington D.C., February 28-March 2. The Summit is where fashion, business, and government come together for exchange at the highest levels. We really want you to attend, so that you can hear what’s coming, help deal with the challenges of the future, and connect with your industry colleagues. It will be a VERY SPECIAL event this year!" - A message from AAFA's President and CEO, Rick Helfenbein.

Summit sponsorship: Does your 2018 budget include Executive Summit sponsorship? Only three exclusive opportunities remain for this industry anticipated CEO-focused event. Contact Megan Balkovic to confirm your sponsorship and attendance. Features include full-access to the two-day program, peer-to-peer networking and discussions, brand visibility, and entrance to the closing reception’s private dinner at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!

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.
Happy Holidays!
As 2017 comes to a close, the AAFA team wishes all of our readers a very safe and happy holiday season. The AAFA Weekly Brief will return to your inbox in the new year, on Tuesday, January 9.
AAFA Events
Select 2018 Dates
Feb. 8 Product Safety Seminar
Feb. 28 - March 2 AAFA Executive Summit
April 16 AAFA American Image Awards
April 24 Sourcing Conference
April 24 Spring Government Contracts Committee (GCC) Meeting
May 31 Product Safety Seminar
Aug. 8 Traceability Seminar
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

& help us recognize them April 16!

Other Industry Events

PGA Show - Performance Textile Fair
January 24-26 | Orlando, FL
AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will keynote the PGA Show’s Performance Textile Fair on January 24th with his session Trade & Your Business: Is D.C. A "Swamp" or a Sand Trap? Learn more.

FN Platform and SOURCING at MAGIC
February 12-14 | Las Vegas, NV
AAFA will lead two sessions on February 12 in Las Vegas - one covering parasite brands and one about how U.S. global value chains can shape U.S. trade policy. Learn more.




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