AAFA Weekly Brief
February 5, 2019

Newsletter at-a-glance

AAFA's Rick Helfenbein and Steve Lamar discuss the trade landscape in 2019 – including USMCA and the impact of CPTPP – in an exclusive video interview with Sourcing Journal (see Trade).
February 1: ... Hear AAFA’s president and CEO Rick Helfenbein and executive vice president Steve Lamar provide perspective on how all of these developments could play out this year, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP, which recently took affect without the U.S., as well as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces NAFTA. (Source: Sourcing Journal)
January 31: ... As he hosted the Chinese delegation in the Oval Office earlier in the day, Mr. Trump said he would meet next month with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. He suggested that Mr. Xi was prepared to make significant changes to Beijing’s economic policies, including opening its market to American companies and buying more products. (Source: New York Times)
January 29: The Trump administration formally gave Congress a list of its proposed changes to trade policy, requests that will put the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade into effect. The list is the first step in getting Congress to approve the trade deal that would replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement. (Source: Washington Examiner)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain & Manufacturing
February issue: ... AAFA and FLA created the Commitment because reducing potential forced labor risks for migrant workers in global supply chains is next to impossible for a single company to accomplish alone. True progress towards these goals can only be made when the industry collectively works together in collaboration on this important issue. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript, op-ed from AAFA's Nate Herman)
February 1: ... The Indian garment sector employs more than 12 million people in factories but according to the study by the University of California, millions more work from home. ... “They (brands and auditors) have no idea about the work that has been outsourced and there is no mechanism to monitor them...” (Source: Reuters)
February 1: ... These results suggest that these two technologies added to washing machines could be an effective way to reduce microfiber emissions to the environment. While further investigations are needed to understand the relative contributions of microfibers from other textile products and their pathways to the environment, we know that textiles laundered in washing machines are one source of microfibers and that effective mitigation tools currently exist. (Source: Forbes)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
Customized Brokers, a Crowley Company
Customized Brokers, adds velocity and value to the apparel supply chain. As a single-source, total supply chain solutions provider, we have developed ways to more efficiently manage the complexities of importing both textiles and apparel. We have dependable, compliance-driven teams that keep abreast of regulations on this constantly evolving market.
To connect with one of our specialists, click here.
Brand Protection
February 4: ... Under the "risk factors" section of its annual report, Amazon added a new line addressing counterfeit problems on its marketplace. ... In October, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which represents more than 1,000 brands, recommended that some Amazon sites should be added to the "Notorious Markets" list because of counterfeits, saying Amazon should rather "be a leader in the fight against counterfeits." (Source: CNBC)
February 1: More than $1 million in fake designer merchandise was seized in 2016 in one of Nassau County’s largest counterfeiting busts. But rather than destroying the goods, the Nassau district attorney’s office worked with a Port Washington nonprofit to repurpose them. (Source: Long Island Business News)
January 31: ... Special agents from HSI teamed with industry, CBP, Atlanta police officers and other partner agencies to identify flea markets, retail outlets and street vendors selling counterfeit goods during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII. They seized fake jerseys, hats, cell-phone accessories and thousands of other bogus items prepared to be sold to unsuspecting consumers. (Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
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

AAFA in Long Beach: AAFA's team is in Long Beach, California this week for the Spring Environmental Committee and Social Responsibility Committee meetings on February 6 and the Product Safety & Compliance Seminar on February 7. Don't miss this opportunity to get your product safety questions answered!

Tariff update: On January 30, AAFA signed onto both a multi-association letter and multi-organization letter to Members of Congress expressing support for new legislation to reform the Section 232 tariff statute. This was followed by a January 31 joint letter to the nation's governors explaining the damage tariffs inflict on individual states.

Incentivizing the use of U.S. content in imports: On January 31, AAFA sent a joint association letter to the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee supporting an update to 9802, which would allow importers to assess duties on just the foreign value added abroad, and not on U.S. origin materials used to manufacture the final product. For more on this initiative, see this op-ed co-authored by AAFA's Steve Lamar.

AAFA submits comments on EU trade agreement: AAFA submitted post-hearing comments to the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding a potential U.S.-EU trade agreement. These comments were submitted following AAFA's in-person testimony in December.

AAFA’s NEW international minimum wage matrix: The AAFA International Apparel & Footwear Minimum Wage Matrix was created to help members navigate international minimum wage requirements. Information ranges from the official minimum wage in local currency (as of January 2019) and maximum working hours, to the expected timeline for next minimum wage increase. Download here (member login required).

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: Tory Burch

Tory Burch is an American lifestyle brand that embodies the personal style and sensibility of its Chairman, CEO and Designer, Tory Burch. Launched in February 2004, the collection includes ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, watches, home and beauty.

AAFA Events
February 6 Social Responsibility Committee Meeting
February 6 Environmental Committee Meeting 
February 7 Product Safety & Compliance Seminar
February 14 Webinar: Boundaryless Retail – JD Brings Brands to Life
February 20 Webinar: Country of Origin & the New Tariff Environment
Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars, scheduled events, and member/committee calls.




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