AAFA Weekly Brief
June 5, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

On May 31, President Trump removed protections for Canada, Mexico, and the European Union from tariffs on steel and aluminum, resulting in the release of retaliation lists by each trading partner. Clothing and footwear is specifically mentioned by the EU. See AAFA's response under AAFA News.
June 5: ... Such a move toward separate talks would come at a tense time in U.S. trade relations with the two countries. The Trump administration said on Thursday it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, ending a two-month exemption and setting the stage for a possible trade war. (Source: Reuters)
June 3: Beijing warned Sunday that it wouldn’t buy more U.S. goods or take other measures to ease trade tensions if the Trump administration follows through on plans to raise tariffs on Chinese imports. (Source: Politico)
May 31: ... "Let’s be clear, ‘Made in USA’ apparel and footwear will suffer as a direct result of this action by the Trump administration," said Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, a trade group in Washington, D.C. (Source: California Apparel News)
Supply Chain
June 1: ... "There’s a lot of questions we don’t know the answers to," said Nate Herman, senior vice president of supply chain at the American Apparel and Footwear Association, an industry trade group. "The concern with legislation is that it’s getting ahead of the science." (Source: Bloomberg)
June issue: ... Although the fashion police might only joke of outlawing sleek, printed men’s blouses, or impossible-to-wrinkle, static-clinging button-downs, there is a real threat on the horizon to synthetic fabrics – including polyester. Between the efforts of environmental groups and state legislatures, the first battle in the war on synthetics has begun. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript, op-ed by AAFA's Kristen Kern)
May 31: Myanmar’s garment sector may be booming, but the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine State and issues over the minimum wage threaten to derail the industry. (Source: Women's Wear Daily - login required)
May 29: U.S. Army leaders, apparently deciding that the greatest generation was also its best-dressed, are seeking a return to World War II-style "Pink and Green" uniforms cut from modern, eco-friendly fabric. (Source: Bloomberg Government)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
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Brand Protection
June 4: ... Here are five currently pending or recently decided cases that are worth keeping a close eye on, as they could serve to impact the fashion industry in a big way. (Source: The Fashion Law)
June 2: ... if Amazon isn't liable when faulty products sold through its website cause personal injuries and property damage, customers are often left with no recourse. That's because it's frequently impossible for consumers to figure out who manufactured the defective product and hold that party responsible. (Source: CNBC)
May 29: This year’s World Cup is taking place in Russia, and with the tournament comes criminals peddling counterfeits of every kind. This is one aspect of the beautiful game that needs a counter attack (Source: IP Pro)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions

Tariff escalation: Last week, the Trump administration announced the exemptions from the previously imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union would not be renewed following the expiration on June 1. AAFA reacted strongly to this action as it significantly raises the risk of retaliatory tariffs that will impact the Made in USA market (including apparel and footwear goods we ship abroad) and will ultimately impact American jobs. Read more with AAFA’s May 31 press statement

Last week the administration also announced that the U.S. will proceed with $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports from China, with a final list of targeted products to be released by June 15. As you know, AAFA has been closely tracking developments and continues to be vocal on the issues (see our letters, comments, testimony here for background). We will continue to send clarifying member notes as events unfold.
Microfiber legislation update: California's bill (AB 2379) did not receive a vote in the Assembly by the June 1 deadline. As a result, it is unlikely to be considered this session. Simultaneously, the bill being considered in New York State (A10599) has been referred to the Environmental Conservation committee, but has not been scheduled for a hearing yet. The bill would need to be passed before New York's legislative session ends on June 20 in order to become law this year. 
Meanwhile, Connecticut recently passed a bill (H.B. 5360, originally proposed as S.B. 341) 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 to study microfiber pollution. Members interested in the impact this legislation could have on their business are encouraged to connect with Kristen Kern.  
Senate calls attention to counterfeits: Last week, the Senate Finance Committee called on rights holders, trade associations, online retailers, shipping companies, and payment processors to share information to help the committee better inform American consumers on the dangers of counterfeit goods. The committee has been active on brand protection issues since the beginning of the year. In January, at the request of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report explaining how changes in the market for counterfeit goods, specifically the growth in e-commerce, pose new challenges for consumers. In March, the committee convened a hearing to examine how to better protect consumers by enforcing intellectual property rights. AAFA has been working closely with the Senate Finance Committee and will be providing input on behalf of member brands to inform of the dangers of counterfeit goods. If you would like to learn more on the efforts of the Senate Finance Committee or to contribute information, please contact Christina Mitropoulos

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: Massif

Massif is a supplier of flame-resistant, high-performance protective apparel to the U.S. military and other professionals who work in extreme environments. Over the past decade, Massif has revolutionized the look and feel of flame-resistant clothing with innovative fabrics and forward-thinking designs, offering a new generation of high-end gear that sets the industry standard for protection, performance, and comfort.

AAFA Events
June & July
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
July 19 Government Relations Committee Lobby Day 
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.
AAFA Members: Last Chance to sign up for this week's webinar on Prop 65 changes!


Other Industry Events

June 14, 2018 | NYC
On June 14, AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein will address professionals at Columbia Law School in NYC, covering the top concerns that brands and retailers face today as it relates to intellectual property protection, including what AAFA is doing about it to protect members. Learn more!




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