AAFA Weekly Brief
April 10, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

Late Thursday, President Trump instructed his administration to consider tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of U.S. imports from China. AAFA's response – including interviews with the press – is available under AAFA News.

April 9: ... U.S. negotiators [are] under pressure to strike a new deal by the first week of May in order to give U.S. Congress members time to discuss a reworked North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), given that the makeup of both chambers will change after U.S. midterm elections in November. (Source: Reuters)
April 6: Clothing, shoes, textiles and travel goods only make up 6 percent of everything the U.S. imports, but the group collectively generated more than half of the $34.5 billion in tariffs collected in 2017. (Source: CNBC)
April issue: Washington is launching a trade war, and the fashion industry needs to take notice. (Fashion Mannuscript, op-ed from AAFA's Steve Lamar)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
April 9: Style trends are moving faster than ever in an age when a shopper can spot an outfit on Instagram and buy it with just a few clicks. That immediacy is prompting some in the fashion industry to experiment with a business model some are calling "click, buy and make." (Source: Wall Street Journal)
April 6: ... In the last five years, safety has improved at the larger factories that have direct relationships with Western retailers and are under the supervision of two initiatives ... But workers at the smaller factories that have domestic contracts and those that are subcontracted – in other words, get the overflow work from other factories – are still in peril ... (Source: PBS NewsHour)
April 5: ... A bill is pending in California that would require a warning label on polyester clothing, alerting consumers that washing polyester contributes to microfiber pollution, and now the Connecticut legislature has taken up the issue. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
Do you have a solid supply chain strategy?
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Brand Protection
April 9: A man based in Portland, Oregon has been sentenced to four months in prison for selling counterfeit Nike trainers online. ... According to a release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Pepion offered rare Nike trainers for sale through online platforms such as Instagram, eBay, and Shopify. (Source: World Intellectual Property Review)
April 7: As part of our annual Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey – coverage of which we began publishing last week – we asked hundreds of practitioners (both in-house and in private practice) from around the world about the non-trademark-specific political developments they anticipate will have an impact on brand protection efforts. (Source: World Trademark Review)

Additional tariffs pending? On Thursday, April 5 President Trump directed the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider an additional $100 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports from China and AAFA countered with this rebuttal. This followed the April 3 list of U.S. imports from China to face tariffs (which did not target apparel, footwear, travel goods, or related consumer products, but did list machinery used by the industry) released by USTR, and China's retaliation list – targeting $50 billion in U.S. product categories. AAFA has secured substantial news coverage on this topic, just a sampling of which is featured under trade. Find additional stories in Boston GlobeCBS MoneyWatch, Footwear NewsPolitico, Sourcing Journal, and WWD. Members are encouraged to get involved by contacting Steve Lamar or Nate Herman.

Update on CA/CT microfiber legislation: AAFA’s efforts on the California and Connecticut proposed labeling measures are ramping up quickly. Last week, AAFA’s Kristen Kern testified in Sacramento, CA regarding legislation introduced (AB 2379) that would add labeling requirements and consumer awareness programs for clothing made of synthetic fibers like polyester. AAFA also testified in Connecticut on March 14 in opposition to a similar bill (S.B. 341). 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  

Protecting product safety in Vermont: On April 9, AAFA joined with 11 other trade associations in urging Vermont Governor Phil Scott to veto S.B. 103. The bill would remove the role of the working group established under the Children’s Safe Products Act (Act 188 of 2014) to allow the Department of Health to ban chemicals, and does not require sound science when making determinations.  

Meet AAFA’s Brand Protection Council: With all of the news around tariffs on U.S. imports from China, the importance of intellectual property (IP) seems to get lost in the shuffle. Meet AAFA’s Brand Protection Council (BPC) which is laser-focused on the global war against counterfeit apparel, footwear, and related accessories. Charged with helping to protect U.S. branded products against cheap imitations that are flooding the marketplace, the BPC is composed of legal, brand enforcement, and marketing representatives of AAFA member companies. To join, contact AAFA’s Christina Mitropoulos. On April 26, AAFA and the BPC will celebrate #WorldIPDay in coordination with the National Intellectual Property Rights Center – stay tuned for more information to support the awareness efforts as the date approaches. 

A few words from the #AmericanImageAwards Honorees: On April 16, we are proud to honor: Emanuel Chirico of PVH Corp. as the Person of the Year; Joseph Altuzarra as Designer of the Year; Floriana Gavriel and Rachel Mansur of Mansur Gavriel as Fashion Mavericks; Fred Segal as Retailer of the Year; and Camuto Group as Company of the Year! With less than a week to the gala, find a few inspiring words from each of the honorees with this conversation led by CFDA. For the second year, AAFA has partnered to support CFDA Foundation initiatives as the event beneficiary.

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.

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