AAFA Weekly Brief
March 20, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

The Trump administration is expected to announce tariffs on U.S. imports from China in the coming days. Today’s brief provides the latest updates, including crucial insights from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein and Steve Lamar.

March 20: ... Make no mistake, if President Trump can levy tariffs against China he will. And the products he taxes may very well be apparel, footwear, and accessories. (Source: just-style, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein - article unlocked)
March 19: ... A source who had direct knowledge of the administration’s thinking told Reuters last week that the tariffs ... would be chiefly targeted at information technology, consumer electronics and telecoms and other products benefiting from U.S. intellectual property. But they could be much broader and hit consumer products such as clothing and footwear, with a list eventually running to 100 products, this person said. (Source: Reuters)
March 19: ... "In addition to increasing costs for American families, this action could result in retaliatory tariffs that target American businesses, resulting in job losses," [Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association said]. (Source: The Hill)
March 16: ... The apparel and footwear industry is nearly always adversely affected by such protective measures. Even trade wars focused on seemingly unrelated industries, like aluminum and steel, can hurt our global supply chains – which translates into fewer jobs for American workers and higher prices for American consumers. (Source: Washington Examiner, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
March 20: ... In an open letter, the group, which includes American Apparel & Footwear Association and Ethical Trading Initiative, complimented Cambodia's progress in expanding the $6.3 billion garment industry while saying the "lack of action to quickly resolve these issues, which are critical to our members as well as to Cambodian people, could jeopardize this tremendous success story." (Source: The Phnom Penh Post)
March 19: ...  Over the next twelve weeks, this new generation of innovators — whose future-fit products and technologies include everything from biodegradable glitter to seaweed-based fabric — will follow a robust curriculum including mentorship from Accelerator partners ... with the aim of transforming the fashion industry for good. (Source: Sustainable Brands)
March 19: Li Ganjie says the newly strengthened bureau will set tougher targets, especially for air pollution. (Source: South China Morning Post)
Do you have a solid supply chain strategy?
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Brand Protection
March 20: Facebook is struggling to keep fake products off Marketplace, its two-year-old listings service that allows anyone over the age of 18 to buy and sell goods. (Source: Business Insider)
March 20: Salvatore Ferragamo is on the receiving end of "the highest ever [amount of damages] awarded for this type of violation" in connection with a recently decided counterfeiting case ... (Source: The Fashion Law)
March 15: New research from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) reveals that the growth in free trade zones (FTZs) – where economic activity is driven by reduced customs controls, light regulation and limited oversight – is in turn fostering growth in counterfeit goods trafficking. (Source: World Trademark Review)

A note from AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein: Here is a short video of the two-days we shared in Washington at the AAFA Executive Summit earlier this month. Take a look and spot some familiar faces!

If you like what you see, mark your calendars for the 2019 Executive Summit, March 13-15 at the MGM National Harbor. Please also know that our door is always open at 740 6th St. NW, and our committees - including our very busy Government Relations (GR) Committee - welcome your participation! The GR Committee will meet in Washington, D.C. alongside the upcoming Supply Chain Innovation: The Key To Success In The New Retail Dynamic conference this April.

Pushback on potential tariffs: As you will see under the Trade news segment, AAFA has been incredibly busy with vocal efforts around our industry’s collective dissatisfaction with potential punitive tariffs on imports from China. AAFA has requested that the administration not move forward with the plans that have been reported in the press. This morning, AAFA joined with several ally organizations to send a letter to the President expressing our views. Earlier in the week, we signed onto a major association letter to the President and helped organize a letter from retailers on the same subject. We encourage all members to engage with your elected officials by sending this pre-drafted letter, and by contacting Steve Lamar and Nate Herman to share your company’s input.

Additional advocacy updates: Over the past week, AAFA urged the Cambodian government to take immediate action to promote labor rights and human rights; praised the Senate for the confirmation of Kevin McAleenan as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and testified about possible new labels for micro-fiber pollution.

Proposed changes to California workers' compensation classification: The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has proposed changes to classifications contained in the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan –1995 (USRP). The changes would affect California wholesalers – not manufacturers or designers. The proposed changes can be reviewed here.  

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: DeSL

DeSL is a global company delivering integrated web based, end-to-end solutions for the fashion, apparel, textile, and footwear sectors. Modular solutions include Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Color Lifecycle Management (CLM)TM, ERP, Compliance Management, and Quality Management. With a well-established and rapidly growing global customer base including retail, e-tail, wholesale, and manufacturing companies, DeSL’s software has been proven to be one of the most scalable and technologically advanced solutions in the market place today.
AAFA Events
March & April
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.

 Convene around sourcing innovation 
April 25 in D.C.
New speakers announced - view detailed agenda



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