AAFA Weekly Brief
April 4, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

Last night, the Trump Administration released the list of U.S. imports from China that it plans to impose tariffs upon. While the list does not include apparel, footwear, travel goods, or related consumer products, it does include some machinery that could impact Made in USA. China released a retaliatory list this morning.

AAFA's response, and analysis of this story are available under AAFA News and Trade.

April 3: ... The speed with which the trade struggle between Washington and Beijing is ratcheting up – China took less than 11 hours to respond with its own measures – led to a sharp selloff in global stock markets and commodities. (Source: Reuters)
April 3: ... Rick Helfenbein, chief executive of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, said that machinery used to make footwear or clothing will be hit with tariffs. "This would directly raise costs on domestic manufacturers and impact our ability to grow Made in USA," he said in a statement. (Source: Washington Post)
April 2: ... The White House wants leaders from Canada and Mexico to join in unveiling the broad outlines of an updated pact at the Summit of the Americas that begins April 13, while technical talks to hammer out the finer details and legal text could continue, [according to three people familiar with the talks]. (Source: Bloomberg)
March 27: ... Trying to punish China with tariffs (that will ultimately be paid by American citizens) is just not practical. It’s like telling your son he did something wrong and then punishing your daughter. (Source: The Hill, op-ed from AAFA's Rick Helfenbein)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
April 1: ... A global race to automate stores is underway among several of the world's top retailers and small tech start-ups, which are motivated to shave labor costs and minimize shoppers' frustrations, like waiting for cashiers. They are also trying to prevent Amazon from dominating the physical retail world as it does online shopping. (Source: New York Times)
March 29: Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday indicated that the garment sector’s minimum wage could reach $250 in the next five years, up from the current level of $170, with a prominent unionist dismissing the projected increase as insufficient to meet workers’ living costs. (Source: The Phnom Penh Post)
March 27: ... If trust comes from transparency, how does a brand or retailer create transparency? Transparency needs a combination of a willingness and an ability to open a supply chain to scrutiny. (Source: Apparel Magazine)
Do you have a solid supply chain strategy?
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Brand Protection
April 2: Making counterfeit products has become a form of entertainment in China. (Source: Jing Daily)
April 2: ... The bill aims to curb counterfeit goods that are coming into California and prosecute those selling the fake items. (Source: KCRA 3 - Sacramento)
March 28: ... The strategy, which notes that CBP must "adapt" to the new e-commerce landscape, seeks to address emerging threats posed by the global change in commerce habits and ensure CBP has the means to enforce violations. (Source: Securing Industry)

Trump administration releases tariff list: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the list of U.S. imports from China that it plans to impose tariffs upon late Tuesday. While the list does not include apparel, footwear, travel goods, or related consumer products, it does include machinery used by the industry.

AAFA's released a statement following the release by USTR and will be engaging with the administration regarding the list during the public comment period. 

Possible microfiber legislation: During the past two months, legislation has been introduced in both California (AB 2379) and Connecticut (S.B. 341) that would add labeling requirements and consumer awareness programs for clothing made of synthetic fibers like polyester. Despite the best intentions of the state legislators, AAFA is highly concerned about both the research supporting the alleged issues and the proposed solutions. To support AAFA’s efforts around these troubling bills, or for more information on the issue, contact AAFA’s Kristen Kern.   

AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee - gathering in Georgia this month: Late last month, Congress passed a government funding bill which removed a provision that would have denied defense funding for U.S.-made uniforms for Afghan security forces – an important win for AAFA members. AAFA’s Government Contracts Committee (GCC) keeps members apprised of such developments that bear on the requirements of the U.S. military and other parts of the U.S. government for the procurement of clothing and shoes.

Each year, AAFA’s GCC Meeting allows apparel and footwear manufacturers, along with their textile and trim suppliers, to hear directly from government procurement officers and policy makers. It also provides a forum to discuss the Berry Amendment and share feedback on how policies impact "Made in USA" supply chains. GCC convenes April 30-May 2 in Savannah, GA with keynote speaker Lieutenant General Darrell K. Williams and a special tour of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, SC. View the GCC Meeting agenda and learn more about the Committee

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.
AAFA Events
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 supply chain innovation 
April 25 in D.C.



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