AAFA Weekly Brief
May 15, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

AAFA is hard at work articulating the concerns of the apparel and footwear industry, as tariff talks in D.C. intensify – with three days of testimony regarding potential tariffs on U.S. imports from China – and as several state legislatures push bills that would impact sales of product made with synthetic fibers. See these updates and more under AAFA News.
May 15: ... About 120 firms and industry groups are scheduled to testify at a hearing beginning Tuesday on the administration’s plan to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. (Source: Bloomberg)
May 15: ... "[Trump] doesn't want a trade war. I don't want a trade war." ... Kudlow handicapped the odds for NAFTA optimism as 51-49. "That's not great for Kudlow optimism," he admitted. (Source: Axios)
May 15: ... Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrives in Washington on Tuesday for trade talks with the U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Source: CNBC)
Supply Chain
May 14: ... Kristen Kern, Government Relations Representative for the American Apparel [&] Footwear Association, expressed initial concern about the bill, but said the apparel industry is ready to join the working group and develop possible solutions. "Our members are committed to creating safe and high-quality products for their consumers in a safe and responsible manner," Kern said. "That increasingly includes use and end of life analyses and best practices to limit any harmful impact of garments on the environment." (Source: Branford Patch)
May 14: The United States indirectly criticized China on Monday for shielding Myanmar from strong U.N. Security Council action over a military crackdown against mainly Rohingya Muslims that the U.S. and other countries have denounced as ethnic cleansing. (Source: Reuters)
May 12: ... Following the government’s ban on microbeads, this comprehensive research will be used to improve the scientific understanding of how microplastics from other sources enter the oceans – whether through fibres released into waste water during a washing cycle, or car tyre friction on roads creating a dust of particles that make their way into the seas through sewers. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
Brand Protection
May 14: ... When we talk about the growing problems of counterfeits online, it is typical to looks at the major e-commerce players. And while large forums are an important and worrisome piece of the counterfeit problem, increasingly social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others are growing in importance for counterfeiters. (Source: IP Watchdog)
May 10: ... Together, China and Hong Kong are estimated to be the source of 86% of the world’s counterfeit goods—an amount that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates is worth about $397 billion. Fake merchandise accounted for 12.5% of China’s exports in 2016, according to the same report. (Source: Harvard Business Review)
May 7: A vast web of Amazon review fraud lives online, and it's designed to evade the company’s efforts to thwart it. (Source: Buzzfeed)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions

Tariff testimony and recent comments: Tomorrow, May 16, AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will testify in a hearing at the International Trade Commission, voicing strong opposition towards tariffs on apparel, footwear, and related products, and to encourage the administration to refrain from adding tariffs on equipment used to make these products in the U.S.

Ahead of this week's hearings, AAFA signed onto two letters – one from more than 100 trade associations representing all sectors of the economy, and another signed by 16 trade associations representing soft goods – to express our position on this issue.
Microfiber labeling legislation: In a move that could see a similar trend sweep across several state legislatures, Connecticut passed a bill that requires the formation of a working group to study the issue of synthetic clothing and microfiber pollution. Thanks to AAFA’s work in Connecticut, the version approved by the legislature removed a labeling requirement and other concerning language from the original bill. Meanwhile, California and New York State are both considering bills that would require extra labeling for products with synthetic fibers, identifying them as contributors to microfiber waste in waterways. Additionally, New York’s legislature is considering product labeling to encourage hand-washing of synthetic garments. AAFA is rigorously working to address controversial provisions within these bills. Members interested in the impact this legislation could have on their business are encouraged to connect with Kristen Kern.  
Protecting Berry Amendment provisions for footwear: On May 9, AAFA joined with more than a dozen industry groups in expressing concerns to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leadership with very strong opposition to anti-Berry Amendment proposals on footwear and components in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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
May & June
May 17 Webinar: Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility
May 23 Webinar: Addressing Forced Labor Risks
May 31 Product Safety Seminar
June 7 Member-Only Webinar: Preparing for Changes to California Prop 65
June 13 Webinar: Analytics and Automation in Trade Compliance
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

The Executive Think Tank returns to Hong Kong October 24!



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