AAFA Weekly Brief
October 30, 2018
Newsletter at-a-glance

AAFA will host two exclusive member-only webinars over the next two weeks: one tomorrow (Oct. 31) on the new USMCA, and one recapping the midterm elections (Nov. 8). For more information on these webinars and the other advocacy efforts keeping AAFA busy, see AAFA News.
October 30: ... Producers and retailers of apparel and footwear are already planning for the higher tariffs, according to Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. ... As companies consider switching to suppliers in other parts of Asia, the law of supply and demand is putting upward pressure on costs in neighboring countries, Lamar said. “Everyone is leaving China and going to the same places ... Vietnam gets more expensive, Cambodia gets more expensive, everywhere gets more expensive.” (Source: Bloomberg)
October 29: The U.S. is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if talks next month between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war, three people familiar with the matter said. (Source: Bloomberg)
October 29:  Last week, as the Trump administration pretended everything was now fine with trade policy, there was an emergency gathering in Ottawa to try to rescue the global trading system. Neither the United States nor China were invited. (Source: Forbes)
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Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain
October 29: Myanmar labor organizations urged visiting European Union delegates on Monday to reconsider the possible withdrawal of trade preferences that allow the developing country tariff-free access to the bloc, under threat from Brussels in response to alleged ethnic cleansing of ethnic Rohingya during a 2017 military campaign. (Source: Radio Free Asia)
October 24: ... With millennials willing to pay a premium for more sustainable products — and at a time when we’re receiving dire, time-sensitive warnings about our devastating impact on the planet — a growing number of clothing and shoe companies are producing collections with materials made from plastic that might otherwise end up in landfills or the ocean. (Source: Vox)
October 24: More than 100 global apparel and footwear companies have pledged to tackle forced labour risks for migrant workers in supply chains. Signatories, including Adidas, Levi’s, Eileen Fisher, Nike, New Balance, Ralph Lauren and Patagonia, have committed to a treaty drawn up by the American Apparel & Footwear Association and Fair Labor Association. (Source: Apparel Insider)
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Brand Protection
October 24: Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. government and anti-counterfeiting organizations from academia and industry gathered [last week] to discuss how social media can be effectively used to protect intellectual property rights and combat the flow of counterfeit goods that threaten the health and safety of American consumers, negatively impact the nation’s economy and fund criminal organizations involved in violent crimes. (Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
October 23: ... Federal prosecutors say that from November 2013 through February 2017, Zhao received certain shipping container numbers from someone overseas that identified at least three containers containing counterfeit merchandise. She asked some Port of Newark workers to remove the containers before they could be examined by Customs and Border Protection staffers. (Source: Associated Press)
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

Last week in Hong Kong: We were honored to host leaders from brands, retailers, and across the supply chain last week for our 4th annual AAFA Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong. We thank last week's speakers (including executives from JD.com, Louis Vuitton, PVH Corp., VF Corporation, VIP.com, ZALORA, and more) and our keynote, award-winning journalist and CNN personality Andrew Stevens. The state of trade and tariffs was a critical subject of focus. Over the course of the day the group also covered boundary-less retail, merging online branding while digitizing brick-and-mortar retail, optimizing where and how product is produced, key performance indicators of corporate social responsibility, maximizing the experience sharing for consumers — and much, much more! Stay tuned for details about our 2019 Think Tank next October.

While in Hong Kong, AAFA spent quality time discussing matters of trade relations with members and with international media outlets including CNBC (watch here), Bloomberg (watch here), BBC, and the South China Morning Post (see our cover story here).

The Industry Talks Trade panel during the AAFA Executive Think Tank in Hong Kong on October 24. Panelists included AAFA's Rick Helfenbein, CCCT's Chen Zheng, AmCham Hong Kong's Tara Joseph, and moderator Andrew Stevens. AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein (center) and members of the AAFA team visited member company Intertek for a discussion on trade policy on October 25.

Commit to responsible recruitment: On Monday, October 22, AAFA and the Fair Labor Association announced a proactive industry effort to address potential forced labor risks for migrant workers in the global supply chain. The list of participants has now grown to 125 companies (and still growing)! Access the commitment and up-to-date list of participants. For questions about the Commitment or how to join (it’s not too late), contact AAFA’s Nate Herman.

Member webinars this week and next: AAFA invites you to join us for two upcoming member-only webinars, including:

TOMORROW, October 31: NAFTA to USMCA – A Deep Dive with AAFA
In this member-only webinar, AAFA’s trade experts will discuss what the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) means for your business and the industry at large. Register here!

November 8: Midterm Election Results & What's Ahead
Immediately following the 2018 midterm elections, AAFA leadership will take a first look at what those results mean for the country and for the policies affecting your business. Register today.

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
October & November

October 31 Member-Only Webinar: NAFTA to USMCA - A Deep Dive with AAFA
November 1 Webinar: Taking Control of Your Global Supply Chain
November 8 Member-Only Webinar: Midterm Election Results & What's Ahead
November 13 Webinar: Less Becomes More. Responsible Textile Consumerism
November 14 Government Relations Committee Meeting
November 28 Environmental Committee Meeting
November 29 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars and industry events.


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