AAFA Weekly Brief
March 13, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

Last week, President Trump officially announced tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel. See AAFA's reaction under Trade, including an op-ed from our President and CEO Rick Helfenbein and insights from Executive Vice President Steve Lamar in USA Today.

March 13: ... While the details were still in flux, aides said the administration is considering tariffs on more than 100 Chinese products ranging from electronics and telecommunications equipment to furniture and toys. Those tariffs are expected to be rolled out as soon as next week, the officials said, adding that the timing could slip. (Source: Politico)
March 9: The tariff train is about to leave the station–and many believe it’s a train without a destination. One that uses tariffs for tickets, while attempting to bring American trade riders into a war zone. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein - article unlocked)
March 8: ... "This would be a tax on every American,’’ says Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "If you’re taxing imports coming in from China, our largest source of apparel and our largest source of footwear by far, you’d be raising prices on clothing and footwear for every ... American consumer.’’ (Source: USA Today)
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Supply Chain
March 9: ... The first step in correcting poor working conditions is identifying them. To do this, companies need credible, usable indicators. ... Here are five guidelines companies can apply to increase their chances of getting the indicators right. (Source: Sustainable Brands)
March 6: The administration is backing an appeal by South Dakota at the U.S. Supreme Court that could mean billions of dollars in revenue for state coffers. (Source: CNBC)
March 6: The National Committee for the Minimum Wage on Monday set the country’s daily minimum wage at K4800 (US$3.60) or K600 per hour for an eight-hour day despite objections from both labour and employers. (Source: Myanmar Times)
March 11: ... In this way, blockchain resembles another buzzword, "the cloud." While detractors argued that the cloud was just "someone else’s computer," it gave many industries new business processes, new ways to charge for services, disruptive startups and new divisions within existing companies and an ecosystem of supporting technologies. Blockchain has the same potential. (Source: Wall Street Journal - subscription required)
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Brand Protection
March 12: ... Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, told reporters on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament the regulator will also provide equal protection to big companies as well as small-and-medium businesses. (Source: Reuters)
March 6: Designer knockoffs have come a long way from Canal Street. Here's what you need to look for. (Source: Fashionista)
March 6: ... Senators from both parties pressed officials to do more to prevent the sale of counterfeits online. (Source: The Hill)

American Image Awards gala on April 16: The American Image Awards is just a few weeks away where AAFA will welcome Katie Couric to help recognize incredible visionaries leading the industry forward. Allow AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein to introduce you to each of this year's honorees with his column in Fashion Mannuscript. For more information, including tables and tickets, visit aafaglobal.org/awards.  

Brand protection updates: On March 8, AAFA testified before a panel on intellectual property rights practices in foreign countries, as part of the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) Special 301 report. The prepared remarks are available here.

AAFA also signed onto a joint letter sent to the Mayor of Los Angeles on March 9, praising the work of the Los Angeles Police Department's Anti-Piracy Unit, and urging the mayor to reject any efforts to dismantle the unit.

AAFA urges action on MTB: AAFA joined more than 200 other associations and companies in a March 9 letter to Members of Congress emphasizing the importance of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), and the need for action from the full Congress.

Labor laws in Burma (Myanmar): On March 6, AAFA and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) wrote a letter to the government of Burma (Myanmar) expressing strong support for the labor law reform process currently underway, but urged the government to ensure that this process results in laws and regulations that are consistent with the fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization, creating a strong foundation for mature industrial relations and strong growth for the garment and footwear industries in Myanmar.

Steve Lamar re-elected as WITA's Board President: Steve Lamar, AAFA's Executive Vice President, was once again re-elected to the Board of Directors of the 2,400-member Washington International Trade Association (WITA). Having served on the Board for more than twenty years, he currently serves as President. Fellow officers include Stephanie Lester of Gap, Inc.; longtime trade policy expert Donald Eiss; and Sarah Thorn of WalMart Stores, Inc. Please join us in congratulating Steve.

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: Tex-Ray Industrial Co Ltd

Tex-Ray Industrial Co Ltd is a Taiwan-based vertically integrated innovative textiles and apparel manufacturing group. Established in 1978 and publicly listed in Taiwan since 1998, with a global Research & Development, Production and Sales Services Support Network consisting of 18 factories, 6 Research, Development & Service Support offices in 9 different countries, including the USA, Mexico, Africa, Jordan, China and Southeastern Asia region. The company is especially competent in the manufacturing of performance and functional Textiles as well as activewear, athleisure and lifestyle knitwear, with an emphasis on sustainability.
AAFA Events
March 15 Member-Only Webinar: Pivotal 2018 Mid-Term Elections & What's at Stake
March 28 Webinar: Chemical Management - Why Should I Care?
April 16 American Image Awards
April 19 Webinar: Fighting Brand Abuse on Social Media
April 24 Government Relations Committee Meeting
April 24-25 Supply Chain Innovation: The Key to Success in the New Retail Dynamic
April 30-May 2 Government Contracts Committee Meeting
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

Registration now open for the
Traceability Seminar | August 8
Hosted at the Nordstrom Corporate Headquarters in Seattle



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