AAFA Weekly Brief
July 24, 2018

Newsletter at-a-glance

In addition to the ongoing tariff discussion in Washington – including AAFA's critical response on behalf of the industry – this week's edition includes a compelling article on the research going into making the dyeing process more sustainable (see Supply Chain).
July 24: ... "A NAFTA renegotiation under any circumstance is difficult," [said Steve Lamar of the American Apparel & Footwear Association]. "The proposals the president has put on the table make it vastly more complicated." (Source: Washington Examiner)
July 20: Rick Helfenbein, President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, on the impact of tariffs on American consumers and manufacturers. (Source: Bloomberg Markets AM - podcast)
July 18: ... And while apparel was spared, Trump has threatened putting tariffs on all Chinese imports, which last year totaled half a trillion dollars. That’s raised alarm bells around corporate America. Rick Helfenbein, president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association ... has started calling the proposed duties a "Trump tax." (Source: Bloomberg)
Supply Chain
July 20: Hundreds of textile workers and trade union activists protested in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Friday to reject a new minimum wage proposal. (source: Agencia EFE)
July 20: ... This year, three U.S. states have introduced legislation targeting the problem, although none have been enacted. The action is part of a larger global trend, according to Kristen Kern, government relations representative for the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). (Source: Home Textiles Today)
July 19: "Beyond compliance" has become a trendy term in responsible sourcing circles these days. It means different things to different people, but most definitions share the idea of jettisoning the prevailing audit-centric social compliance paradigm and moving on to something "beyond" it. (Source: Sourcing Journal - article unlocked)
July 15: Large and small suppliers vow to help a resource-intensive, cost-sensitive industry change with the times. (Source: Chemical and Engineering News)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
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To connect with one of our specialists, click here.
Brand Protection
July 19: Counterfeiters hijack companies’ own listings with low-quality products and cut-rate prices. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
July 18: ... Wish, reportedly valued at more than $8 billion, has built one of the fastest-growing e-commerce businesses today by offering a dizzying range of products that sometimes sell for as much as 90 percent off regular prices. The bulk of merchandise available through the app comes from distributors overseas. (Source: Chicago Tribune)
July 17: ... Artificial intelligence has increased the arsenal of tools at [retailers'] disposal, but AI can be costly to implement. Still, the demand is growing, and a few companies have stopped relying solely on human expertise. (Source: Racked)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions

$500 billion tariff threat: In a July 19th interview with CNBC, President Trump expressed that he is prepared to impose new punitive tariffs on $500 billion of U.S. imports from China. In response, AAFA released this press statement, chastising the announcement and reiterating our stance: tariffs make American companies and farms less competitive – not more competitive – and it is time to stop using the American consumer as a pawn in this conflict. For recent coverage with AAFA’s remarks, see Trade articles above, including our Bloomberg Markets radio interview.

Just yesterday, AAFA also signed on to a multi-industry association letter, including more than 60 organizations representing U.S. manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, retailers, technology companies, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. This letter expresses our concerns with the continued use of tariffs as a means of leverage against China. It clearly articulates that the new proposed tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese imports and the recently announced retaliatory tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods will harm U.S. companies, workers, and consumers.
For regular in-depth member updates, talk to AAFA’s Steve Lamar about AAFA’s Government Relations Committee. Members can also access a high-level summary of what's going on with AAFA's Trade War Heat Map.
AAFA submits comments supporting GSP: On July 17, AAFA submitted comments supporting the continued GSP-eligibility for India, Indonesia, and Thailand. This comes after AAFA testified on June 19.

Department of Labor repeals "persuader rule": On July 18, the Department of Labor repealed the "persuader rule," which made it more difficult for employers to access legal counsel or expert advice on labor and employee relations issues. The Federal Register notice with additional information is available here.

Thank you to our incredible summer interns! AAFA was pleased to welcome a great group of talent this summer with interns from the University of Huddersfield, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, Penn State, and the University of Pennsylvania studying topics varying from Fashion and Textile Management to International Business. Please help us thank Eros Shreve, Caitlin Moore, Michelle Kerstein, Amber Linton, and Aiden Reiter!

Know someone interested in interning with the AAFA team? We are accepting applications for fall internships.
AAFA’s fabulous summer interns enjoy the rooftop view!

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: adidas

adidas is the creator sports brand—a global designer and developer of athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel, and accessories with the mission to be the best sports brand in the world. With the belief that through sport we have the power to change lives, adidas engineers the best in high-performance products to make athletes better, faster, and stronger in their game, life, and world.

AAFA Events
August & September
August 2 Webinar: Managing Brand Success in an Unpredictable World
August 7 Environmental Committee Meeting
August 8 Traceability Seminar
August 9 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
August 22 Webinar: Managing Transportation Risks
September 27 AAFA Footwear Workshop 
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

Join us for an August 2 webinar, as we examine emerging business challenges threatening brands like IT hacks, Gen Z demographics, emerging CRM privacy legislation, and the so-called Retail Apocalypse.



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