AAFA Weekly Brief
May 22, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

Read on for the latest tariff and NAFTA news, including our most recent AAFA-authored op-ed and appearance on Fox Business.
May 21: With about two weeks left until what may be the final deadline for a new NAFTA this year, Mexico and Canada are signaling there’s a deal to be had - if President Donald Trump wants one. (Source: Bloomberg)
May 20: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the Trump administration will hold off from imposing tariffs on China as leaders from both nations try to hammer out agreements on trade. (Source: Politico)
May 18: If you want to understand our industry, you must first understand five numbers: 98, 95, 75, 51 and 6. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed by AAFA's Steve Lamar)
May 17: ... "Tariffs would not be helpful if they were on apparel," [Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association] said. "It’s a hidden tax on the American consumer." (Source: Fox Business)
Supply Chain
May 18: President Trump has personally pushed U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the Postal Service charges Amazon.com and other firms to ship packages, according to three people familiar with their conversations, a dramatic move that probably would cost these companies billions of dollars. (Source: Washington Post)
May 17: Custom-made suits for men used to be a purchase made only by a select few. But like everything else in retailing, the internet turned the business inside out. (Source: Star Tribune)
May 17: The Accord's bid to prolong its stay in Bangladesh became uncertain after the High Court yesterday extended its restraining order on the government from extending the inspection agency's tenure by three more months. (Source: The Daily Star - Bangladesh)
Brand Protection
May 21: On Friday, the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") officially comes into effect. This means that all companies – fashion and non-fashion, alike – that collect any data "relating to a ... natural person" that is a European Union citizen, including names, email addresses, and even IP addresses, are required to comply with strict new rules. (Source: The Fashion Law)
May 21: Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Thursday seized nearly 79,000 counterfeit items that included apparel and consumer electronics from luxury and sporting trademark designers such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Nike, Apple, Samsung and Sony. (Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
May 14: ... While many brands are actively struggling to clear counterfeit items from Chinese e-commerce sites, NetEase is now working directly with the manufacturers for brands like Gucci, Burberry, and Rimowa to produce unbranded items for its site, Yanxuan. They claim the quality of these items is the same as those from luxury brands, but at much lower prices. (Source: Jing Daily)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions

Tariff concerns and AAFA’s testimony: On Wednesday May 16, AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein testified against tariffs on products imported from China. For detailed context on AAFA’s stance, the comments as prepared for delivery are now posted. AAFA also provided these public remarks in response to testimony from the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) on May 17 requesting the imposition of tariffs on U.S. imports of apparel from China. 

At this juncture, the Trump administration is holding on implementation of these tariffs. AAFA will continue to provide detailed member updates as policy decisions unfold out of the White House and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. 

Microfiber working groups: Connecticut recently passed a bill that requires the formation of a working group to study the issue of synthetic clothing and microfiber pollution. If Connecticut Governor Malloy signs the microfiber working group bill into law as predicted, AAFA will participate on the working group and establish a AAFA Microfiber Steering Group. Members interested in the impact this legislation could have on their business, or seeking more information on similar proposals in California and New York, are encouraged to connect with Kristen Kern.  
Next week in NYC: Next week, AAFA will host its much-anticipated Product Safety Seminar in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The program will bring together brands, retailers, regulatory officials, and technical experts to share industry insight on the latest rules and regulations. The day begins with keynote speaker Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and continues with guest speakers from Carhartt, Inc., Calloway Golf Company, FULLBEAUTY Brands, Global Brands Group, Outerstuff Ltd., PVH Corp., and more.

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: Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. Recognized for their industry focus, they are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through their global risk advisory group, they leverage their industry experience with their knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

AAFA Events
May & June
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
June 20 Member-Only Webinar: Getting Brand Protection Ready - Navigating the New GDPR Landscape
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

September 27 | Lawrence, MA



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