AAFA Weekly Brief
April 9, 2019

Newsletter at-a-glance

The American Image Awards are next week! Check out WWD's features on the awards and each honoree under AAFA News.
April 9: A simmering transatlantic trade row risked escalating on Tuesday after the U.S. threatened to impose tariff counter-measures of up to $11.2 billion on a host of European products. ... The government's full list of items being considered for increased tariffs from any of the 28 EU member states is 13 pages long, but here is a representative glance at just a sample of the items that could get pricier on your local store shelves. ... Textiles: Cashmere sweaters, wool products, carpets and rugs, ski-suits and sportswear and bed linens. (Source: CBS News)
April 8: ... Passing the USMCA will be an uphill battle in Washington’s politically toxic environment where congressional Democrats often clash with Trump, especially as the 2020 election draws closer. Further, Trump’s repeated threat to close the U.S. border with Mexico and impose tariffs on Mexican car imports is worrying members of his own party. (Source: Bloomberg)
April 5: American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO Rick Helfenbein discusses the U.S.-China trade war and why he is concerned about President Trump’s tariffs. (Source: Fox Business)
April 4: President Donald Trump said Thursday that talks with China on a comprehensive trade agreement continue to make progress, but there is still no date for a summit meeting where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could finalize a deal. (Source: Politico)
Naylor Association Solutions
Supply Chain & Manufacturing
April 8: ... In a joint letter addressed to Prime Minister Hun Sen and four ministries on Friday, eight associations, including the American Apparel and Footwear Association and Fair Labour Association, called for a timeline from the government on improvements. (Source: Khmer Times - Cambodia)
April 6: ... Plastic microfibers, which measure less than 5 millimeters in size, can come from many sources ― carpets, furniture, fishing nets or even cigarette butts. But the most well-documented source is clothing. Without proper management, microfibers from washing machines enter waste effluent, escape wastewater treatment plants and reach the ocean. (Source: Huffington Post)
April issue: It seems that we hear every day about another chemical or product to be afraid of. So why don’t companies just use better chemicals? And why don’t they start doing it now? If it were that simple, they certainly would. Let’s consider the complications created by the current regulatory environment, pressure from consumer groups, and a mysterious tariff incentive, as well as some opportunities to improve in these areas. (Source: Fashion Mannuscript - op-ed by AAFA's Kristen Kern)
Supply chains don’t have to be complicated?
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Brand Protection
April 5: ... One consideration that may lead to significant results from Trump’s directive was spelled out by the AAFA in its comment on the Notorious Markets List: “[U.S.] tariffs will impose a tax on legitimately traded goods from China [whereas] counterfeiters … will likely avoid these duties, driving up the [difference] between legitimately traded items and their illegal knockoffs. This could have the unintended, adverse impact of driving certain consumers to purchase counterfeit goods as a cheaper alternative.” (Source: 24/7 Wall St)
April 5: ... Court documents outline a scenario in which the two men imported thousands of counterfeit iPhones from China and then filed warranty complaints with Apple, claiming the smartphones were broken and wouldn't turn on. Apple would then replace the knockoffs with genuine models — in most cases, new phones — that the pair would ship back to China to be resold for a profit, of which they received a cut. (Source: NPR)
April 4: ... Somewhat strikingly, the AAFA – the prominent Washington, D.C.-based trade organization that boasts members such as Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman and Ralph Lauren, among others – has recommended that Amazon’s international arms be added to the U.S. Trade Representative annual blacklist of “Notorious Markets.” At the same time, though, it has not, for the first time, suggested that Alibaba be included on that same list, citing “improvements in online enforcement on Taobao and other Alibaba platforms, as well as an ongoing and productive dialogue that we have conducted with Alibaba.” (Source: The Fashion Law)

AAFA's Rick Helfenbein spoke with Fox Business about the
trade war and the impact on the supply chain. Watch here.

Countdown to the American Image Awards: The American Image Awards will take place at The Plaza in New York on April 15. AAFA is delighted to celebrate the future of the industry and honor:

Person of the Year: Isaac E. Ash - United Legwear & Apparel Co.
Retailer of the Year: American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
Company of the Year: Birkenstock
Designer of the Year: Eileen Fisher
Media Brand of the Year: WWD
Fashion Collaboration of the Year: Disney Princess X Ruthie Davis

Read WWD's features on the AAFA/CFDA connection, Isaac Ash, American Eagle, Birkenstock, Eileen Fisher, and Disney Princess X Ruthie Davis.

AAFA in Europe: AAFA's Steve Lamar was in Naples, Italy last week to exchange ideas with ally organizations and footwear companies at the World Footwear Congress and International Footwear Forum. This week, he is in Brussels to connect with our European association counterparts to discuss trade and supply chain challenges.

AAFA's Steve Lamar checks in from the World Footwear Congress in Naples, Italy
where he is connecting with our international colleagues to discuss the future of the industry. Watch here.

Industry sends letter to Cambodian PM regarding human rights: AAFA joined 7 other trade associations from the U.S. and the European Union in a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen expressing concern with the worker and human rights situation in Cambodia.

AAFA joins letter to Congress on GSP: AAFA signed on to a letter with 437 other companies and organization to Congress expressing concerns over the Trump Administration's recent announcement it would terminate Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for Turkey and India.

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 Endorsed Schools: State University of New York College at Buffalo 

The fashion and textile technology program at Buffalo State is the only baccalaureate program in Western New York that offers a variety of career preparation options for the multifaceted, global fashion industry. We offer four concentration areas including Fashion Merchandising, Apparel Design, Apparel Product Development and Textile Design. Read more.

Learn more about AAFA Endorsed Schools and Universities.

AAFA Events
April 15 American Image Awards
April 24 Webinar: How Targus Gained Global Visibility with PLM
April 25 Briefing: The Commitment & Your Social Compliance Program
April 30 Government Relations Committee Meeting
April 30-May 1 Global Supply Chain & Trade Conference

Visit our events calendar for all AAFA webinars, scheduled events, and member/committee calls.

April 30-May 1 | Washington, D.C.



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