AAFA Weekly Brief
April 17, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

The red carpet at the AAFA American Image Awards last evening buzzed with stars, fashion executives, and designers in celebration of the night's honorees. Read more under AAFA News! 

April 17: ... Retailers plan their products an average of six to nine months in advance, and they’re already preparing for the potential levies to be in place, [American Apparel & Footwear Association] Chief Executive Officer Rick Helfenbein said in an interview. Who could be affected? "Everybody," he said. (Source: Bloomberg)
April 16: U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would reconsider joining the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, if it were a "substantially better" deal than the one offered to President Barack Obama. Here is a look at the state of play in the negotiations and the conditions needed to be in place for the United States to join an agreement Trump scrapped as soon as he took office. (Source: Reuters)
April 11: The creation of jobs in America has long been a top policy priority. It is even more important as we look to grow the economy, increase wages, and prepare for our future. This goal has taken on a new flavor as recent conversations around the use of punitive tariffs have shined a spotlight on the role of trade policy in the creation of U.S. jobs. (Source: Morning Consult, op-ed by the USGVC Coalition including AAFA's Rick Helfenbein)
April 11: ... "Tariffs become trade wars, and trade wars have no winners," said Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, in an interview. ... The fight is just the latest battle bringing companies to lobby Washington ... (Source: Bloomberg)
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Supply Chain
April 17: The drive by cash-strapped state governments to collect more sales taxes from online retailers ran into skepticism Tuesday at the Supreme Court, where justices voiced concern about changing long-established rules of interstate commerce. The effort to even the playing field between online and so-called "brick-and-mortar" sellers, led by South Dakota, appeared to have four votes on the high court, but the magic number five seemed elusive. (Source: USA Today)
April 16: For decades, China was the world's largest importer of waste — a status that many countries took for granted, going by the reaction to Beijing's surprise decision to stop taking in 24 types of scraps starting 2018. (Source: CNBC)
April 10: The Accord's bid to stay on in Bangladesh for three more years has become trickier after the High Court this week restrained the government for extending the inspection agency's tenure because of a writ petition filed by Smart Jeans. (Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh)
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Brand Protection
April 16: Brands take aim at sponsored Instagram posts and other online sellers. (Source: Sole Collector)
April 12: China will introduce a system of punitive damages for intellectual property (IP) infringements in its effort to strengthen protection of such rights, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday. (Source: Reuters)
April 17: ... Los Angeles police confirm that the goods, which also consisted of Urban Decay, MAC, and other well-known beauty brands, tested positive for bacteria, lead and traces of animal feces. (Source: The Fashion Law)

Celebrating our 40th AAFA American Image Awards! Last evening was spectacular as we hosted our 40th AAFA American Image Awards. Hosted with award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author Katie Couric, the gala honored leaders, influencers, and innovators in the apparel and footwear industries and benefitted the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation. Find the full press release, Getty photo gallery, and highlights of the evening on social media (Twitter, Instagram) with #AmericanImageAwards.

Designer of the Year Joseph Altuzarra with the one-and-only Katie Couric
AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein with American Image Awards Person of the Year Emanuel (Manny) Chirico of PVH Corp.

View additional images

Busy week for AAFA on product safety: On April 16, Governor Scott of Vermont vetoed S.B. 103 following AAFA’s recent letter urging the decision! Last week — on April 9 and 11 respectively — AAFA testified before the California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources to oppose a bill that would create a labeling requirement for all garments made of 50% or more synthetic fiber and before the Consumer Product Safety Commission on their budget and priorities for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. For questions on any of these items, contact AAFA's Kristen Kern.

Last Week on Capitol Hill: Last week, the U.S. Global Value Chain (USGVC) Coalition, of which AAFA is a founding member, took to Capitol Hill to educate policymakers and the public about the American jobs and the domestic economic growth our companies generate through their value chains. Find our joint coalition op-ed with Morning Consultunder trade and take part in the conversation with #GlobalValueChain.

Tariff threats continue: On 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. While a new list is yet to be released, AAFA has been extremely vocal in the response to date around all tariff proposals, including op-eds, television interviews, and joint letters. On April 6, AAFA reacted with this statement and on April 11, AAFA joined with more than 100 other associations to express concerns on tariff policy with respect to China. Most recently, AAFA spoke withBarron’sand Bloomberg regarding the tariffs.

More on this ahead at AAFA’s Government Relations Committee Meeting on April 24 in D.C. and from AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein at Supply Chain Innovation: The Key To Success In The New Retail Dynamic on April 25, also in D.C.

We encourage members to share this prepared letter with your representatives in Washington expressing our industry’s opposition to tariffs.

NAFTA negotiations: On April 12, AAFA — along with more than 150 companies from the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian textile, apparel, and retail industries — wrote to the three NAFTA trade ministers in support of NAFTA modernization while also expressing opposition to any provisions that would restrict the agreement.

North Korea Forced Labor FAQs: Last week, AAFA co-signed a joint association letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — seeking clarifications to achieve better compliance with new North Korean sanctions legislation (CAATSA).

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 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.

Save the Date 
Oct. 18: International Product Safety & Compliance Conference in Ho Chi Minh City



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