AAFA Weekly Brief
September 4, 2018
Newsletter at-a-glance

Following the announcement of an updated trade agreement with Mexico, the Trump administration plans to continue negotiations with Canada this week. NAFTA news and AAFA's response can be found under Trade and AAFA News.
September 4: ... The president has threatened to leave Canada out of a new trade deal already negotiated with Mexico, but without congressional support he lacks leverage to force Ottawa to make concessions. (Source: Bloomberg)
August 30: We are all trying hard to rationalize or explain what the Trump administration is trying to do, writes Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Apparently, we are attempting to stop unfair trade practices - promoted by China - by taxing ourselves and taking money out of our own pockets. Makes sense, right? (Source: just-style, op-ed by AAFA's Rick Helfenbein - article unlocked)
August 30: The renegotiated free-trade deal between the United States and Mexico has a new name and a new set of rules that will make it a little more difficult to manufacture apparel in Mexico. ... "This is a chance for Congress to review the free-trade agreement and schedule briefings," said Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, who is on all of the congressional advisory committees that will start reviewing the trade pact 30 days after it is submitted to Congress. (Source: California Apparel News)
Supply Chain
September 4: ... A new spinning mill – the first in almost half a century to be built in the former garment-making hub – will start churning out recycled yarn spun out of old, discarded clothes beginning this autumn. (Source: South China Morning Post)
August 30: Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday warned workers that an unreasonable increase in the minimum wage could drive companies to bankruptcy and out of the country. (Source: Khmer Times - Cambodia)
August 28: ... Here are four needle-ready ideas we are working on that Washington can embrace to create Made in USA jobs. (Source: Sourcing Journal, op-ed by AAFA's Steve Lamar - article unlocked)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
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Brand Protection
August 30: ... China does more than import IP from the U.S., it has consistently revised its laws to strengthen patent protection and is stepping up enforcement of intellectual property rights protection. So while China has strengthened its domestic patent system over the last 20 years, the U.S., thanks to Congress and the Supreme Court, has gone the other way. (Source: The Hill)
August 29: ... Amazon and other retailers have failed to keep up with the soaring business in counterfeit brand makeup, skin care and other goods, which is to balloon to $1.8 trillion by 2020, a 50% jump from $1.2 trillion last year, per the 2018 Global Brand Counterfeiting Report. (Source: Axios)
August 29: ... The scheme runs even deeper, according to China’s state-run China Youth Daily website, with companies offering up sham courses for individuals who would like to be trained as expert authenticators, something of a growing profession in China. (Source: The Fashion Law)
Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Prioritizing Your Technology Road Map: When is the Right Time to Change?
Centric Software
Thinking of upgrading your current PLM system but questioning if it’s the right fit for your business anymore? If you’re experiencing business challenges that your PLM should have avoided like disjointed processes, data errors and a reliance on emails to collaborate, then it’s probably time to wave goodbye to your current PLM. Watch our webinar and learn about the benefits of changing your PLM system vs. upgrading your existing system.
Watch now
Tariff testimony – and last chance to submit comments! The September 6 deadline is looming to submit written testimony as part of the U.S. Trade Representative's review of the proposal to hit $200 billion worth of U.S. imports from China with punitive tariffs. AAFA members are encouraged to submit comments, share information with Steve Lamar or Nate Herman for AAFA's comments, and share how these added tariffs will impact your business with the press and your Members of Congress. Questions? Contact AAFA's Steve Lamar or Nate Herman.

AAFA's Steve Lamar shares three ways you can show your opposition
to the addition of punitive tariffs on U.S. imports from China.

NAFTA negotiations continue under pressure: The U.S. will continue negotiations with Canada this week, following the announcement that it had come to an arrangement with Mexico on August 27. With the goal of having a signed agreement prior to the transition of power in Mexico later this year, negotiators face a tight deadline as well as continued threats of termination of the agreement. AAFA strongly supports a trilateral agreement that is seamlessly implemented so that supply chains are not disrupted.
AAFA opposes removal of Uzbek cotton from forced labor list: On August 29, AAFA joined with several other organizations to oppose the removal of Uzbek cotton from a federal government list of commodities that require certification to avoid forced and child labor.
Reports from Commerce: The U.S. Department of Commerce has released two long-awaited reports: U.S. Footwear Industrial Base Assessment – Summer 2017 and U.S. Textile and Apparel Industrial Base Assessment – Summer 2017 – which grew out of a suggestion made at a Government Contracts Committee meeting several years ago. They provide important new information that AAFA pushed to have developed so policy makers can better understand the economic health of the textile, apparel, and footwear industry.

Welcome to AAFA’s newest team members! AAFA is pleased to announce the addition of Agata Borradori and Candice Austin to the AAFA Team! Agata (Accounting Manager) is responsible for finance, accounting, budget, and HR functions at AAFA. Candice (Sponsor Engagement Manager) is responsible for managing and facilitating AAFA’s sponsorships across its educational platforms, as well as special events. Both Agata and Candice look forward to meeting our AAFA membership! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to Candice at 202-853-9354 or via email as you think about ways to engage more closely with AAFA.

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
September 6 Webinar: Removing Dangerous Chemicals from the Supply Chain
September 12 Webinar: Microfiber Discharge – What should you do?
September 20 Webinar: Working Hours Best Practices
September 27 AAFA Footwear Workshop
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.

We're convening around product safety and social responsibility next month in Ho Chi Minh City!



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