AAFA Weekly Brief
July 26, 2016
Supply Chain
July 23: As wages in China continue to rise, global apparel production and demand is expected to shift to developing economies in South Asia, where 1.5 million new jobs can be created if labour costs in China rise by even 10%, says a new World Bank report, titled Stiches to Riches. (Source: Fibre2Fashion)
July 22: New evidence from a National Geographic GPS study shows that the northeastern corner of India is colliding with Asia. ...And, if the readings—which were collected over years and factor in GPS data from Bangladeshi tracking stations—prove true, and the region is sitting on top of an active fault, the earthquake could be akin to the 9.0 magnitude quake that rocked Japan in 2011. (Source: Sourcing Journal – article unlocked)
July 20: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is asking suppliers to remove formaldehyde, triclosan and six other substances from their products, part of an effort to eliminate controversial chemicals from household goods. ...The world’s largest retailer created the list with help from the Environmental Defense Fund, aiming to get suppliers to find alternatives, said Zach Freeze, Wal-Mart’s director for strategic initiatives related to sustainability. (Source: Bloomberg)
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July 26: It’s been an interesting turn of events in the past few weeks for those watching the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Party platforms and shifting candidate viewpoints have complicated the footwear industry’s hopes for passage even further. (Source: Footwear News)
July 25: Cambodia’s garment exports could take a hit from the inclusion of neighbouring Vietnam in the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. ... Cambodia’s government has not ruled out joining the US-led TPP, which aims to lower trade barriers between 12 Pacific Rim nations, accounting for 40% of the global economy. Recent comments from Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol indicated future interest. (Source: The Load Star)
July 22: A majority of Americans support expanding trade and say the United States must engage globally to grow the economy, a view that runs counter to the anti-trade sentiment in the presidential campaigns, according to a new poll. ...The Third Way poll found that voters favor by a two-to-one margin "expanding exports of American products to other countries" (60 percent) to those who want to limit imports, despite negative trade rhetoric from the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. (Source: The Hill)
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Brand Protection
July 20: The number of patent lawsuits filed in U.S. district courts climbed from 2,000 in 2007 to more than 5,000 last year, and the majority of those were related to tech patents, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday. The nonpartisan government watchdog found that nine years ago, 38 percent of individuals were defending patent lawsuits pertaining to computer and communications technologies. By 2015, that percentage had climbed to 62. Additionally, software-related patents comprised the majority of infringement suits filed each year from 2009 through 2015. (Source: Morning Consult)
July 15: A steady increase in the rate at which challenges under the America Invents Act of 2011 are being denied suggests that patent owners are walking away with enforceable rights at least half the time. Though owners still have a better shot at defending invalidity challenges in court, the difference between court and Patent Trial and Appeal Board results is narrowing. (Source: Bloomberg BNA)

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In Brief
Brand protection update: Fighting counterfeits and working to protect your brand? AAFA has partnered with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center to help the industry and public report intellectual property (IP) theft - click this button to report!

AAFA’s Brand Protection Council holds its summer 2016 meeting today in New York. If you are an AAFA member, you are eligible to take part in the council activities, including the winter meeting on December 1 in San Francisco. Contact AAFA’s Steve Lamar at slamar@aafaglobal.org to learn more.

Members and non-members are welcomed to register for our November 30 event: Knock it Off! Brands & the Counterfeiting Quandary Workshop at Levi’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Labeling update: In case you missed it, AAFA’s much-anticipated labeling resource International Apparel & Footwear Labeling Matrix is now available for members! Questions? Contact Danielle Iverson at diverson@aafaglobal.org.

Get involved! AAFA members get the most out of membership when they participate in our events and committees – join here. Congress and government agencies solicit comments on a range of issues that may affect your business – find a list of comment opportunities here.
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    Member Welcome: HQTS Group Ltd.
    HQTS is a leading service provider of quality control services in Asia. HQTS has been providing best in class inspections, product and ISTA package testing, factory audits, supplier evaluations, social compliance audits, and QA consulting services since 1987 for a wide range of consumer, industrial, textile, food, and automotive products. The oldest and largest QC company in Asia, HQTS can provide you with the expertise you need to ensure the delivery of quality products throughout your supply chain.

    AAFA Events
    July & August
    July 26 Brand Protection Council Meeting
    July 28 Webinar: Customs Planning Opportunities for Retailers in 2016 & Beyond
    August 18 Webinar: Customs Updates and International Threads

    Look Ahead:
    Join us for our Oct. 6 Footwear Workshop
    Lawrence, MA

    Visit our events calendar for all webinars and industry events. Be sure to save the date for AAFA's Executive Summit: March 1-2, 2017.

    Other Industry Events

    August 16, 2016 | Las Vegas, NV

    AAFA is pleased to present two sessions at MAGIC and FN PLATFORM 2016. Sessions will include "The Future of Footwear Policy: How Washington's Decisions Impact Sourcing and Selling in New Markets" and "Greening the Supply Chain," both on Tuesday, August 16.


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